Little Big Cat is coming to you today from beautiful Reno, Nevada; I’m attending the mid-year meeting of AAFCO, the Association of American Feed Control Officials. If that organization sounds familiar, it’s because you’ve seen it on virtually every can, bag, roll, and every other form of commercial pet food you’ve ever bought. AAFCO sets the standards for pet food regulation in the U.S. (and essentially for Canada). Although AAFCO is not itself a regulatory body, its members–volunteers from each state–are the regulators and enforcers of state laws affecting animal feed and pet food.

Years ago, when I worked at the Animal Protection Institute (now BornFree USA), I was what was then called a “liaison” (now referred to as an “advisor”) to AAFCO on its Pet Food and Ingredient Definition Committees. These are the primary committees dealing with pet food issues. I learned a lot from attending these meetings, and have continued to attend when possible since then. I haven’t been for a few years, but now, in my capacities as veterinary advisor to Only Natural Pet Store, blogger, and general rabble-rouser, I’m back! And I’ve regained my (literal) place at the table on the Pet Food and Ingredient Definition Committees as an advisor. The meetings of those committees will take place tomorrow and Thursday. I’m sure there will be lots to report after that!

Meanwhile, this morning’s general session included several speakers from FDA and a few other interesting surprises. For details on today’s meeting, check out Susan Thixton’s blog at We’ve joined forces to And most importantly, tonight Susan and I will be having a live internet chat at Google+ Hangouts. This is totally new technology for me…but if you’d like to join us, and you have a Google account, add Susan to your circle on Google+, or friend her on Facebook to get details. I’m sure we’ll do it again, if you can’t make it on such short notice (sorry!).

I’ll keep you posted on new developments as they occur!

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