News | June 3, 2024

PFC Votes on Voluntary “Controlled Copper” Claim for Dog Food

AAFCO Pet Food Committee votes not to establish voluntary “controlled copper” claim for dog food. Potential claim may be revisited if future data warrants a review.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) Pet Food Committee voted not to establish a voluntary “Controlled Copper” claim for dog food. Research and discussion for a potential claim had been ongoing since February 2021 after an article was published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA) concerning the current AAFCO nutritional guidelines for copper (Cu) in dog foods.

AAFCO convened an expert panel to review the relevant veterinary literature and evaluate establishing a safe upper limit, or maximum tolerance, for Cu in dog food. The panel concluded there was insufficient data to establish such a limit at this time but proposed voluntary language for a “Controlled Copper” claim.

A subsequent Copper Claim Workgroup further evaluated the proposed voluntary “Controlled Copper” claim language, along with additional guidelines for Cu in dog food in recognition of concerns from pet owners and veterinarians.

On May 30, 2024, the Pet Food Committee reviewed the findings and the proposed voluntary language from the original expert panel, the notes from the copper workgroup, and feedback from veterinarians, animal nutritionists, consumer groups and the general public but ultimately failed to reach a consensus and voted “no” on the proposed voluntary “Controlled Copper” claim language. AAFCO will continue to monitor new scientific literature as it becomes available and may consider the topic again in the future if additional data warrants another review.


The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has been guiding state, federal and international feed regulators with ingredient definitions, label standards and laboratory standards for more than 110 years, while supporting the health and safety of people and animals. Its members are charged by their state or federal laws to regulate the manufacture, sale and distribution of animal feeds and feed ingredients. Learn more at