AAFCO updates its position on hemp in animal food

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), the independent organization that provides ingredient definitions, label standards and laboratory guidance for state, federal and international feed regulators, has issued an updated position paper and call to action on hemp and hemp byproducts in livestock feed and companion animal food.

In the position paper, AAFCO urges the hemp and feed industries to continue researching proposed hemp and hemp byproducts as nutritional ingredients to gather data on the products’ safety and efficacy. Product evaluation should include whole hemp plants, hemp seed oil, CBD and other cannabinoids. Additional research on hemp will allow AAFCO to evaluate findings, formally define ingredients and provide standards for safe animal feed.

“We understand the hemp industry is eager to enter the animal food market, but we are concerned that not enough research has been completed on these products,” said Susan M. Hays, AAFCO executive director. “That’s why we are urging the hemp industry to conduct appropriate research and submit their results for us to review as a normal step in our ingredient approval process.”

AAFCO is concerned that proponents of hemp in feed who have focused on passing state legislation to allow in-state use of hemp as a feed ingredient despite the lack of a national approval based on a comprehensive scientific review of its safety will ultimately create a state-by-state patchwork of laws that will lead to inconsistent manufacturing methods, unsupported marketing claims across the country, and restriction of interstate and international markets.

AAFCO encourages lawmakers to work with key stakeholders like the FDA, United States Department of Agriculture, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, livestock and dairy associations, consumer advocacy groups, and AAFCO itself within the formal process for review and approval of hemp and its byproducts for animal nutrition. AAFCO can help guide hemp producers through the submission and review process. The AAFCO Guide to Submitting New Ingredient Definitions can be downloaded here.

Click here to read AAFCO’s Hemp and Hemp Byproducts in Animal Food position paper in its entirety.

Click here to access current AAFCO Guidelines on Hemp in Animal Food.

Email aafco@aafco.org with questions or for additional information.