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Commercial Feed Inspections
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) inspects, samples, and analyzes commercial feed to determine whether that commercial feed is in compliance with the Commercial Feed Law and the rules promulgated under the Act. These inspections help to assure that the feeds you buy are safe, and that they provide the nutrients you expect. The inspections involve not only the products, but also make sure the processes used to create them are in compliance with good manufacturing practices.
The Feed Law gives MDARD the authority to enter, during normal business hours, any factory, warehouse, vehicle, or establishment in Michigan where commercial feeds are manufactured, processed, bagged, or held for distribution. Once they have access to these places, MDARD inspectors are authorized to inspect all relevant equipment, finished and unfinished materials, containers, and labeling. Of course, all of this is done at reasonable times, within reasonable limits, and in a reasonable manner.
To ensure that companies comply with Michigan's licensing and labeling requirements, MDARD inspectors may be found anywhere that feeds are sold. Such places include farm suppliers, grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, and wholesale distributors, to name a few examples.
MDARD Inspection Process
- Check feed products to make sure that the companies responsible for putting them in the market are, in fact, licensed. Violation notices are promptly issued to those companies operating without a proper license. If they fail to obtain the license within a reasonable period of time, orders are given to remove their products from sale.
- Examine labels to see that they meet minimum labeling requirements set forth in the Commercial Feed Law and Commercial Feed Regulation. If serious labeling violations are observed, orders may be given to the seller to immediately remove the offending product from distribution.
- Collect representative "official" samples of feed products that are observed. Feed labels are required to provide a "Guaranteed Analysis" statement for its basic nutritional value. If the product contains drugs or other special purpose additives, there will also be guarantees for the active level of these components. The samples are then submitted to the Department's laboratory where these claims are confirmed. If a sample fails to meet its guaranteed claims, regulatory follow-up action will be taken. Sometimes the feeds may also be sampled to be checked for possible adulterants or harmful substances.
- Check feed manufacturing facilities, on a regular basis, to determine if they are being maintained in a sanitary condition. Potential sources of contamination or adulteration are the focus of these inspections. If any are found, management is advised to correct the conditions promptly. If such conditions pose an imminent risk to the feed supply, immediate corrective action is pursued.