March 08, 2012

Dept. of Ag's Feed, Seed & Treated Timber Programs Oversee Safe, Wholesome, Reliable Products for Consumers, Pets and Livestock

The Missouri Department of Agriculture's efforts to guarantee consumers receive quality goods and the quantity promised during purchases include livestock and pet food, grain and produce seeds and decay-resistant wood products. Through the Bureau of Feed, Seed and Treated Timber, the Department inspects and tests the ingredients and finished products to ensure they meet label guarantees and are safe for humans, livestock and household pets.

"Protecting a fair marketplace for consumers, producers and sellers is at the core of the Department's mission," said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler. "Consumer protection week is one opportunity for us to highlight the work of our outstanding staff and their efforts to ensure that the products Missourians buy for themselves and their families are safe, wholesome and accurately labeled, whether they are feeding their families, pets and livestock or caring for their homes."

The Missouri Commercial Feed Law revised in 1998 requires that all commercial feed products, including pet food, be labeled with crude protein, crude fat and crude fiber guarantees, as well as for specific amino acids and vitamins and minerals essential for an animal's growth and performance. By testing those products and making the results available to consumers online, the Bureau ensures Missouri farmers receive a product that will help achieve good health, nutrition and growth for their animals.

The program annually inspects over 1500 facilities that sell feeds manufactured by both in-state and out-of-state labelers. In January 2012, 333 samples of feed ingredients and finished feed products, resulting in over 2800 tests, were analyzed in the Missouri State Feed Control Laboratory to ensure that label guarantees are met and that products comply with federal regulations.

The laboratory also tested more than 400 seed samples for Missouri farmers and businesses in January, with 96.92 percent found to be compliant with state regulations.

Under Missouri's Treated Timber Law, Bureau staff also inspect chemically-treated wood products offered for sale. Inspections are conducted at processing facilities as well as retail and wholesale businesses selling treated wood products. Laboratory analysis of finished products is conducted to ensure proper practices for treating products advertised as being resistant to decay, pests and or moisture.

Treated timber is widely available throughout the state at home improvement stores and lumberyards and is most often used for construction projects, ranging from landscaping, fences and decks to outbuildings (e.g., storage sheds) and homes. Wood preservation should extend the life of wood products and increase the durability and resistance to decay, as well as damage from insects and moisture.

In January, Department staff tested samples from 21 retail and wholesale facilities and three producers. The Department issued a stop sale on three lots of product, preventing those from being sold to Missouri consumers, after the samples failed to meet minimum specifications, meaning that they may have been unsafe, unreliable, or both, for use in indviduals' projects.

These efforts and others like them are integral to the mission of the Missouri Department of Agriculture. This week, Missouri is observing National Consumer Protection Week through a series of announcements highlighting the Department's efforts to ensure that a fair marketplace is maintained for our state's producers, retailers and consumers.

For more information on the Missouri Department of Agriculture and its programs, visit the Department online at