Susan M. Hays


Executive director



Presentation Description:

New pet food ingredient? What you need to do to use it legally in the U.S. – Susan Hays, executive director of AAFCO, reviews the new AAFCO Ingredient Definitions Committee guidelines and respond to questions on this important topic. The presentation will walk the audience through the AAFCO Ingredient Definition Process, updated in 2018, explaining the responsibilities of the requester of the definition, AAFCO and FDA. Working hand in hand, and based on science, new ingredients are introduced into the pet food products marketplace following a procedure that is intended to fully vet the new ingredient and its safety to pets prior to any product being sold in the U.S. marketplace.


Hays is the first executive director of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) in its 110-year history. She has served non-profit agricultural organizations since 1987. Her service to the Wild Bird Feeding Industry (WBFI) ended in July 2018 when she began full-time service to AAFCO. While Hays was with the WBFI, she attended AAFCO meetings, served as an industry adviser on AAFCO committees and got to know the people and issues affecting the regulatory professionals. Since beginning with AAFCO, Hays has assisted AAFCO committees working on issues including Pet Food Label Modernization, Independent GRAS Conclusions and the Ingredient Definitions Committee.