Protecting Food as it Grows

  • The Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD) regulates the state's pesticide industry and promotes the judicious use of pesticides on or near areas where food is grown. 
  • People who apply pesticides  must be trained, tested, and then approved by the department before they are allowed to apply the chemicals. 
  • New rules further protect human, animal and environmental health by requiring posting and notification of pesticide spraying, safeguards, around schools and sharing more information with consumers. 
  • Every pesticide used in Michigan must be registered and approved by MDARD. The department has denied the use of specific pesticides as being dangerous to human health.
  • Every complaint of pesticide misuse is investigated within 24 hours. 
  • MDARD works with Michigan's 82 Soil and Water Conservation Districts to encourage the development of "sustainable" farming programs designed to reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers. 
  • MDARD works to protect groundwater from pesticide contamination through the Michigan Groundwater Stewardship Program, a unique statewide partnership to provide information and assessment tools for pesticide and nitrogen fertilizer users to help them identify risks to groundwater.   
  • Through programs like Michigan Clean Sweep, MDARD works to remove outdated pesticides and other agricultural chemicals from Michigan farms and dispose of them in licensed hazardous waste facilities. MDARD also sponsors a program to recycle used pesticide containers.   
  • Licensing and inspection programs are conducted on all dairy farms in the state. Fluid milk plants, frozen dessert plants, milk haulers, and all others affiliated with the dairy industry are similarly regulated.   
  • MDARD monitors the testing of all raw milk for animal drug residues.   
  • Certain animal diseases, particularly those that can be passed on to humans through the food chain, such as tuberculosis, brucellosis, listerosis, and salmonellosis, by law, must be reported to MDARD's Animal Industry Division. That division operates programs that control and eliminate those diseases.   
  • MDARD works to keep Michigan free of cattle tuberculosis as well as cattle and swine brucellosis through testing samples from slaughter plants and routine testing of bulk milk samples.   
  • MDARD works cooperatively with USDA to eliminate Salmonella enteritidis in eggs, when it is discovered through a human outbreak confirmed by the health department or when the disease is diagnosed in a poultry flock.  
  • All reports of alleged toxicoses in livestock are investigated. Appropriate samples are taken for testing and, if warranted, quarantines and other measures are put in place to assure that the animals do not enter the food chain.