2013 Florida Statutes
Inspection, sampling, analysis.
Inspection, sampling, analysis.
576.051 Inspection, sampling, analysis.—
(1) The department is authorized to enter any public or private premise or carrier during regular business hours in the performance of its duties relating to fertilizers and fertilizer business records. In the event that entry into the public or private premise or carrier is refused, an authorized department representative may apply for, obtain, and execute an inspection warrant in accordance with the procedures of chapter 933. An inspection warrant may be issued for all matters pertaining to fertilizer business records, notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary in ss. 933.20-933.30.
(2) The department is directed to sample, test, inspect, and make analyses of fertilizer sold or offered for sale within this state. The department may conduct commercial tests of fertilizer and fix and collect fees in an amount to cover the direct and indirect costs associated with the tests when requested as an aid to support compliance with this chapter.
(3) The official analysis shall be made from the official sample. The department, before making the official analysis, shall take a sufficient portion from the official sample for check analysis and place that portion in a bottle sealed and identified by number, date, and the preparer’s initials. The official check sample shall be kept until the analysis of the official sample is completed. However, the licensee may obtain upon request a portion of the official check sample. Upon completion of the analysis of the official sample, a true copy of the fertilizer analysis report shall be mailed to the licensee of the fertilizer from whom the official sample was taken and to the dealer or agent, if any, and purchaser, if known. This fertilizer analysis report shall show all determinations of plant nutrient and pesticides. If the official analysis conforms with the provisions of this law, the official check sample may be destroyed. If the official analysis does not conform with the provisions of this law, the official check sample shall be retained for a period of 90 days from the date of the fertilizer analysis report of the official sample. If within that time the licensee of the fertilizer from whom the official sample was taken, upon receipt of the fertilizer analysis report, makes written demand for analysis of the official check sample by a referee chemist, a portion of the official check sample sufficient for analysis shall be sent to a referee chemist who is mutually acceptable to the department and the licensee for analysis at the expense of the licensee. The referee chemist, upon completion of the analysis, shall forward to the department and to the licensee a fertilizer analysis report bearing a proper identification mark or number; and the fertilizer analysis report shall be verified by an affidavit of the person making the analysis. If the results reported on the fertilizer analysis report agree within the matching criteria defined in department rule with the department’s analysis on each element for which analysis was made, the mean average of the two analyses shall be accepted as final and binding on all concerned. However, if the referee’s fertilizer analysis report results do not agree within the matching criteria defined in department rule with the department’s analysis in any one or more elements for which an analysis was made, upon demand of either the department or the licensee from whom the official sample was taken, a portion of the official check sample sufficient for analysis shall be submitted to a second referee chemist who is mutually acceptable to the department and to the licensee from whom the official sample was taken, at the expense of the party or parties requesting the referee analysis. If no demand is made for an analysis by a second referee chemist, the department’s fertilizer analysis report shall be accepted as final and binding on all concerned. The second referee chemist, upon completion of the analysis, shall make a fertilizer analysis report as provided in this subsection for the first referee chemist. The mean average of the two analyses nearest in conformity to each other shall be accepted as final and binding on all concerned.
(4) The department, in determining for administrative purposes whether any fertilizer is deficient, shall be guided solely by the official sample obtained and analyzed as provided for in this section.
(5) Fertilizer analysis reports shall be admissible in any court or other legal proceeding.
(6) If any error occurs in analyzing fertilizer or in a fertilizer analysis report, an amended fertilizer analysis report shall be immediately prepared and furnished to all parties who received the original report.
(7) The department shall, with the recommendation of the technical council, adopt rules governing the collection and analysis of official samples. In adopting the rules, the department shall give consideration to those tools, sampling patterns, methods, and terminology which at that time are recommended by organizations such as the Association of Official Analytical Chemists and the Association of American Plant Food Control Officials.
(8) The department shall respond uniformly and equitably to consumer requests for sampling, but not to the extent that such responses interfere with its capability to effectively regulate the overall fertilizer market. Limitations on the number of samples to be taken at the request of any one consumer shall be established by rule at a level commensurate with the consumer’s volume of purchase and prior deficiency experiences. However, additional request samples beyond the maximum may be collected if the consumer pays a fee established by rule.
History.—s. 1, ch. 65-348; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 3, ch. 76-35; s. 197, ch. 77-104; s. 2, ch. 82-103; s. 1, ch. 82-105; s. 2, ch. 83-202; ss. 5, 19, ch. 92-143; ss. 4, 11, ch. 97-6; s. 14, ch. 2013-226.