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Laboratory Division (LAB)

The Laboratory Division helps safeguard consumers every day - whether it be at the gas pump or ensuring our food is pathogen free. As part of MDARD's regulatory programs, the Lab tests for various food and feed pathogens, provides diagnostic testing, ensures the quality and quantity of gas being sold, prevents economic fraud by looking for credit card skimmers, and ensures packages contain the amount of product they claim. Their efforts continue to protect public health, preserve the integrity of the food safety net and ensure consumers are safe at the pump.

The Laboratory Division, composed of the Geagley Laboratory in East Lansing and the E.C. Heffron Metrology Laboratory in Williamston, is one of MDARD's oldest divisions. The labs provide testing and analytical services to ensure the health, safety and economic well-being of the residents and environment of Michigan.

The Geagley Laboratory provides analysis of food, dairy, and beverage products as well as labelling information and livestock testing. This Laboratory runs a variety of tests for other state and federal agencies and as such is partially funded by federal dollars.

The Metrology Laboratory provides mass, volume, length calibration, and testing services for state agencies, local governmental agencies and industry. MDARD certifies weights and measures for private calibration firms who, in turn, provide service to these industries. The metrology lab also conducts regulatory services, calibrating standards used for enforcement by the Michigan State Police, Treasury and Agriculture & Rural Development departments and all county road commissions. The lab, and three full-time metrologists, are certified by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Division Director

Craig VanBuren

Our Programs

Environmental Protection - Laboratory scientists analyze groundwater for contamination, test samples of seeds for weeds, and investigate incidences of suspected pesticide misuse.

Food Safety - Geagley Laboratory analyzes food, dairy and beverage products for pasteurization, drug residues, pathogens, pesticide residues, toxic substances, and foreign materials.  Information on Independent Food Testing Labs can be found here: Independent Food Testing Labs

Livestock Testing - Lab tests ensure that livestock are disease-free and meet state and federal requirements for shipping across county, state and national borders.

Motor Fuels Quality - The Laboratory Division also houses the Motor Fuels Quality Program and the Weights and Measures Program. The administrative personnel for these programs are located at the E.C. Heffron Laboratory. The Motor Fuels Quality Program establishes and regulates the sale and quality of motor fuels through licensing, investigation, inspection and sampling to ensure the fuels that consumers buy contain the proper materials and abide by legal standards. The Motor Fuels Quality Program Hotline number is 1-800-MDA-FUEL or 1-800-632-3835

Product Labels - Product label accuracy is tested to verify nutritional content for consumer and animal foods. 

Weights and Measures - The Weights and Measures Program, through the enforcement of applicable laws and regulations, prevents economic fraud and deception by testing all weighing and measuring devices. This ensures that when a product is weighed or measured, it is done accurately. The program prevents economic deception by checking the accuracy of over 200,000 commercial weighing and measuring devices, the proper net content of packaged commodities, and proper methods of sale at over 50,000 retail establishments and production facilities in Michigan. The state-of-the-art E.C. Heffron Metrology Laboratory provides support to the program and Michigan industry by providing mass, volume and length calibrations that are in accordance with national standards.