Bureau of Agricultural Environmental Laboratories
The Bureau of Agricultural Environmental Laboratories performs analyses on regulatory samples submitted by inspectors throughout the state. The bureau's laboratories conduct chemical, physical and biological analyses of commercial feed, agricultural, vegetable and flower seed, commercial fertilizer, agricultural liming materials and pesticide formulations sold in the state to assure compliance with label guarantees for all active ingredients, nutrients, components and properties. These programs are supported primarily by fees received from the regulated industries. The bureau also conducts analyses of water, soil, air, swab, vegetation and other investigative/environmental samples to detect pesticide contamination for pesticide use-violation or disposal investigations. The Seed and Fertilizer Laboratories also perform commercial testing on a fee basis. The objectives of these programs have remained the same throughout the years: to ensure that consumers receive quality products, to provide a level playing field for all manufacturers, and to promote environmental stewardship. A spirit of teamwork and close cooperation help make enforcement of these laws mutually beneficial to both the industries and their consumers. The analytical demands of our programs are met by well qualified, skilled employees experienced in laboratory analysis and our distinguished staff is the primary reason behind the continued success of the bureau's laboratories. The bureau analyzes approximately 10,000 samples involving over 426,000 sample determinations per year. The laboratory bureau has extensive Quality Assurance/Quality Control procedures, maintains National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference (NELAC) accreditation for specific methodology and plans to seek accreditation from the International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) under the ISO 17025 guidelines.
Animal feeds, including pet foods, are regulated through the inspection of production and distribution establishments and laboratory analysis of samples. Registrants, including ingredient suppliers, are required to submit samples of their products to Department certified laboratories for testing. Results from these sample analyses are reported to the State Feed Laboratory where appropriate regulatory action is taken. This program is administered under Chapter 580, Florida Statutes.
Samples of agricultural, vegetable and flower seed are analyzed for purity, germination and the presence of noxious weeds to ensure seed for sale in Florida conforms to label guarantees and standards set forth in Chapter 578, Florida Statutes.
The fertilizer laboratory analyzes commercial fertilizer and agricultural liming materials to ensure that they meet the standards set forth in Chapter 576, Florida Statutes. As the oldest state laboratory, the fertilizer laboratory has kept pace with the evolving needs of our program by constantly researching and implementing new methodologies and technologies. Analyses such as nutrient availability in slow release fertilizers, micro-nutrient solubility, and analyses for heavy metals are just a few of our present areas of focus. Currently, the laboratory is capable of performing over 40 types of analyses on fertilizer samples.
The Pesticide Laboratory provides analytical support services to the pesticide programs of the Division of Agricultural Environmental Services. The Laboratory analyzes samples of pesticide product formulations to determine if they meet label guarantees as set for in Chapter 487, Florida Statutes. In addition, the Laboratory is equipped to test for pesticide residues in samples from a variety of environmental matrices (e.g., soil, water, vegetation, air) in support of Federal Insecticide Fungicide Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) compliance/misuse investigations and for water quality monitoring studies.
The Bureau maintains a leadership role in determining compliance of regulated businesses and entities with existing laws and demonstrates adaptability to an ever changing agricultural and consumer environment. The Bureau is staffed with highly trained, professional personnel and utilizes the most advanced technology available. This combination ensures quality analytical results while maximizing efficiency and productivity.
The Bureau provides high quality analytical support services in a timely manner to the feed, seed, fertilizer and pesticide programs within the Division of Agricultural Environmental Services.
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