RULE 4.12.222 - STANDARDS FOR VIABLE WEED SEEDS

RULE 4.12.222. STANDARDS FOR VIABLE WEED SEEDS

(1) The use of commercial feeds containing viable weed seeds can cause weed infestations with adverse economic and environmental impacts. The risk of weed infestations from commercial feeds may eventually justify the adoption of standards to define acceptable levels of viable weeds in commercial feeds. However, current scientific data on this matter are insufficient to allow the department to establish standards for weed seeds as authorized by 80-9-103, MCA. As an interim measure, and in recognition of the significance of this issue, the department is adopting this interim rule while literature research and scientific studies are being completed.

(2) Persons who manufacture animals feeds in Montana should utilize processes and ingredients that minimize, in the finished product, the presence of viable seeds of plant species designated as noxious weeds under 7-22-2101(7) (a) (i), MCA. Distributors should distribute, where feasible and practical, feeds that do not contain viable seeds of plant species designated as noxious weeds under 7-22-2101(7) (a) (i), MCA.

(3) Claims made on labels and labeling regarding freedom from viable noxious weed seeds shall be accurate and truthful. Claims such as "free from noxious weed seeds," "noxious weed seeds destroyed," and similar phrases, or claims regarding the amount of noxious weed seeds may be made when:

(a) the feed contains no viable noxious weed seeds; or

(b) the feed has been tested for viable noxious weeds and the results of testing are accurately stated on the label or labeling.

(4) Commercial feeds shall be misbranded when:

(a) viable noxious weed seeds are present and a claim regarding weed freedom is made on the labels or labeling; or

(b) viable noxious weed seeds are present in amounts exceeding that claimed on the label or labeling.

(5) Feed manufacturers making claims regarding freedom from noxious weed seeds shall submit, upon written request by the department, and for each product making such a claim, information that verifies the absence of viable weed seeds. The department may request information regarding the following:

(a) analytical test results regarding seed viability, species composition, and proportion of noxious weed seeds;

(b) verification that plant materials used in manufacture did not contain viable noxious weed seeds. For purposes of this subsection, plant materials certified pursuant to Title 80, chapter 7, MCA, are recognized as meeting standards for freedom from viable noxious weed seeds; and

(c) verification that methods used in manufacturing are effective in mitigating the presence or viability of noxious weed seeds. For purposes of this subsection, pellets and cubes certified pursuant to Title 80, chapter 7, MCA or produced in accordance with standards in ARM 4.5.306 are recognized as effective in mitigating the viability of noxious weed seeds.

(6) The department will evaluate analytical methods, manufacturing methods, and other methods represented as mitigating the presence or viability of noxious weed seeds, and may make a determination regarding acceptability and effectiveness. Persons may not make claims regarding weed seeds when methods are determined to be unacceptable or ineffective.

(NEW, 2000 MAR p. 3333, Eff. 12/8/00.)

Sec. 80-9-103, MCA; IMP, Sec. 80-9-202, 80-9-203 and 80-9-204, MCA;

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