901:5-7-17 Label format and labeling for pet foods.

(A) The statement of net content and product name must be shown on the principal display panel. All other required information may be placed elsewhere on the label but shall be sufficiently conspicuous as to render it easily read by the average purchaser under ordinary conditions of purchase and sale.

(B) The declaration of the net content shall be made in conformity with the United States Fair Packaging and Labeling Act and the regulations promulgated thereunder.

(C) The information which is required to appear in the "guaranteed analysis" shall be listed in the following order:

(1) Crude protein (minimum amount);

(2) Crude fat (minimum amount;)

(3) Crude fiber (maximum amount);

(4) Moisture (maximum amount);

(5) Additional guarantees shall follow moisture.

(D) The label of a pet food shall specify the name and address of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor of the pet food. The statement of the place of business should include the street address, if any, of such place unless such street address is shown in a current city directory or telephone directory.

(E) If a person manufactures, packages, or distributes a pet food in a place other than his principal place of business, the label may state the principal place of business in lieu of the actual place where each package of such pet food was manufactured or packaged or is to be distributed, if such statement is not misleading in any particular.

(F) A vignette, graphic, or pictorial representation of a product on a pet food label shall not misrepresent the contents of the package.

(G) The use of the word "proven" in connection with label claims for a pet food is improper unless scientific or other empirical evidence establishing the claim represented as "proven" is available.

(H) No statement shall appear upon the label of a pet food which makes false or misleading comparisons between that pet food and any other pet food.

(I) Personal or commercial endorsements are permitted on pet food labels where said endorsements are factual and not otherwise misleading.

(J) When a pet food is enclosed in any outer container or wrapper which is intended for retail sale, all required label information must appear on such outside container or wrapper.

(K) The words "dog food", "cat food", or similar designations must appear conspicuously upon the principal display panels of the pet food labels.

(L) The label of a pet food shall not contain an unqualified representation or claim, directly or indirectly, that the pet food therein contained or a recommended feeding thereof, is or meets the requisites of a complete, perfect, scientific or balanced ration for dogs or cats unless such product or feeding:

(1) Contains ingredients in quantities sufficient to provide the estimated nutrient requirements for all stages of the life of a dog or cat, as the case may be, which have been established by a recognized authority on animal nutrition, such as the committee on animal nutrition of the national research council of the national academy of sciences or,

(2) Contains a combination of ingredients which when fed to a normal animal as the only source of nourishment will provide satisfactorily for fertility of females, gestation and lactation, normal growth from weaning to maturity without supplemental feeding, and will maintain the normal weight of an adult animal whether working or at rest and has had its capabilities in this regard demonstrated by adequate testing.

(M) Labels for products which are compounded for or which are suitable for only a limited purpose (i.e., a product designed for the feeding of puppies) may contain representations that said pet food product or recommended feeding thereof, is or meets the requisites of a complete, perfect, scientific or balanced ration for dogs or cats only:

(1) In conjunction with a statement of a limited purpose for which the product is intended or suitable (as, for example, in the statement a complete food for puppies). Such representations and such required qualification therefore shall be juxtaposed on the same panel and in the same size, style and color print; and

(2) Such qualified representations may appear on pet food labels only if:

(a) The pet food contains ingredients in quantities sufficient to satisfy the estimated nutrient requirements established by a recognized authority on animal nutrition, such as the committee on animal nutrition of the national research council of the national academy of sciences for such limited or qualified purpose; or

(b) The pet food product contains a combination of ingredients which when fed for such limited purpose will satisfy the nutrient requirements for such limited purpose and has had its capabilities in this regard demonstrated by adequate testing.

(N) Except as specified by paragraph (A) of rule 901:5-7-18 of the Administrative Code, the name of any ingredient which appears on the label other than in the product name shall not be given undue emphasis so as to create the impression that such an ingredient is present in the product in a larger amount than is the fact, shall constitute at least three per cent of the total ingredients(exclusive of water sufficient for processing) when preceded by the designation "with" or like term, shall be in the same size, style and color print and if the names of more than one such ingredient are shown, they shall appear in the order of their respective predominance by weight in the product.

(O) The label of a dog or cat food (other than one prominently identified as a snack or treat as part of the designation required upon the principal display panel under paragraph (K) of this rule) shall bear, on either the principal display panel or the information panel (as those terms are defined in 21 C.F.R. sections 501.1 and 21 C.F.R. sections 501.2 respectively), in type of a size reasonably related to the largest type on the panel, a statement of the nutritional adequacy or purpose of the product. Such statement shall consist of one of the following:

(1) A claim that the pet food meets or exceeds the requirements of one or more of the recognized categories of nutritional adequacy: gestation, lactation, growth, maintenance, and complete for all life stages, as those categories are set forth in paragraphs (L) and (M) of this rule.

(2) A nutrition or dietary claim for purposes other than those listed in paragraphs (L) and (M) of this rule if the claim is scientifically substantiated.

(3) The statement: "Use only as directed by your veterinarian", if it is a dietary animal food product intended for use by, or under the supervision or direction of a veterinarian.

(4) The statement: "This product is intended for intermittent or supplemental feeding only," if a product does not meet either the requirements of paragraphs (L) and (M) of this rule or any other special nutritional or dietary need and so is suitable only for limited or intermittent or supplementary feeding.

(P) The use of claims on pet food labels stating improvement or newness shall be sufficiently substantiated by the manufacturer and limited to six months production. The use of claims stating preference or comparative attribute claims shall be sufficiently substantiated by the manufacturer and limited to one year production after which the claim must be removed or resubstantiated.

(Q) Dog and cat foods as complete and balanced for any or all life's stages as provided in paragraph (O)(1) of this rule except those pet foods labeled in accordance with paragraph (O)(4) of this rule shall list feeding directions of the product label. These directions shall be expressed in common terms and shall appear prominently on the label. Feeding directions shall, at a minimum state "feed (weight/unit of product) per (weight unit) of dog (or cat)".

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 05/19/2010 and 05/19/2014
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 923.5 0
Rule Amplifies: 923.43
Prior Effective Dates: 5/1/95