Feed and Seed
The Agricultural Commodities Assurance Program regulates the quality of feed, pet food and seed. Inspectors routinely visit feed mills, pet stores and other retail and wholesale outlets to verify that products are properly labeled and to collect samples to send to the Agricultural Laboratory for analysis. These inspections help ensure that consumers are receiving quality products.
The Agricultural Commodities Assurance inspection program also makes sure that the food we give to our pets and the feed we give to farm animals contains what is identified on its label and in the correct percentages.
Seed inspections are important to the agricultural industry and to consumers. Farmers use the germination and purity guarantees to determine crop yield. If seed does not meet those guarantees, the crop will be less than expected and the farmer may suffer economically. Poor crop yields may ultimately raise the price of food for consumers.
Staff also help the federal government investigate tissue residue cases when antibiotics and other drugs are detected in animals destined for the human food supply. Inspectors investigate the source of the problem, which often can be traced to a dairy producer or rancher who medicated a sick animal and did not wait long enough for the drugs to be expelled by the animal’s body before marketing. Often, inspection staff are responsible for communicating to the animal’s owner the importance of following label instructions and federal rules, and the possible consequences of improperly medicating animals.