WASHINGTON — The Pet Food Uniform Regulatory Reform Act of 2024 (PURR Act) proposes to modernize and streamline how pet food and treats are regulated. The bipartisan legislation, H.R. 7380, introduced on Feb. 15, proposes to give the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory authority over the labeling and ingredient review process for dog and cat food and treats. The current system allows individual states to regulate ingredient and label approval.

Representatives Jake LaTurner (R-Kan.), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Sharice Davids (D-Kan.), Josh Harder (D-Calif.) and Steve Womack (R-Ark.) co-sponsored the bill.

“Pet food makers produce nearly 10 million tons of food annually and are crucial to American agriculture. Costly and outdated regulations have made it difficult for pet food manufacturers nationwide to invest in research and development for new and improved products,” LaTurner said. “I am proud to introduce the bipartisan PURR Act to eliminate red tape and allow pet food makers to deliver the best nutritional outcomes for our dogs and cats.”

Womack added, “Pet food manufacturers deal with a confusing, costly and conflicting dual regulatory system that hasn’t been updated in nearly 100 years. The PURR Act would streamline the outdated system by granting sole authority to the FDA to regulate the labeling and marketing of pet food while eliminating the state-by-state regulatory patchwork.”

The bill proposes centralized federal regulatory oversight by the FDA to replace the current, inconsistent state-by-state interpretations of ingredient and pet food label approvals. The legislation calls for new ingredient review and approval timelines for the FDA, which would be overseen by the US Congress.

“The PURR Act includes necessary reforms to streamline and update pet food regulations in the United States,” Cuellar said. “I am pleased to cosponsor this bipartisan bill that will encourage innovation among pet food manufacturers while protecting the health and wellbeing of our pets.”

As an advocate for the pet food industry, the Pet Food Institute (PFI) has long lobbied for a more modernized approach to pet food regulation. PFI issued its support for the proposed legislation.

“Dog and cat owners not only want to ensure the same high-quality and safe pet foods they trust to nourish their beloved dogs and cats but expect the products to reflect the latest in nutritional science and ingredient innovation,” said Dana Brooks, president and chief executive officer of PFI. “To continue delivering on that commitment, we are supporting federal legislation that would replace the current inefficient patchwork approach between states and the federal government with consistent national standards that are predictable, clearly defined, and encourage innovation and speed to market.” 

Under the new system, label and ingredient approvals would be assigned to the FDA, while state departments of agriculture and other state agencies would still oversee quality inspections and product registrations. The result would be a system for pet food regulation that more closely mirrors that of human food.

“Pet owners agree on the need for an uninterrupted supply of safe, high-quality and innovative pet products, and now is the time for pet food regulations to be streamlined to better meet the needs of pets and pet owners in the 21st century and beyond,” Brooks said.

For more regulatory news affecting the pet food market, visit our Regulatory page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *