(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
(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
The department may request information regarding the
(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