According to The Whole Dog Journal December 2112, State and Federal laws require that the text on a label be true, States with active feed control officials usually focus on the guaranteed analysis and even check spelling! They may check any "special claim" listed on the label. So how accurate are the labels? Not very according to Nancy Kerns, Editor of WDJ. She found this in an article in Petfood IndustryMagazine.
In 2012 ELISA Technologies tested 21 dog foods and found that eight of foods tested positive for an animal protein not listed on the label. ( Beef) Two foods claimed to have a certain animal species and it was not present.(venison) Five with claims of no gluten contained gluten. The test results were pointed toward pet food producers and included helpful suggestions for how a pet food maker could avoid what were considered accidental contaminations or production errors.
The article has loads of information about the regulation of claims such as "maintains urinary tract health, tartar control and improved digestibility". Even the size of the print that must be used on and where it must be located on the label is regulated.
In most cases the state feed control officials are responsible for monitoring and testing products and some states have well funded programs with vigilant officials, while other states have virtually zero surveillance and testing. When problems come to light consumers almost never hear about them. Regulatory officials and the food companies resolve the issue quietly.
Law requires only FOUR items be listed for Guaranteed Analysis: protein, fat, crude fiber and moisture.
If you want to order the Whole Dog Journal go to whole-dog-journal.com