Fertilizers regulation

Fertilizers and amending materials are regulated at the state level rather than by the federal government. Each state has its own laws and regulation and most states regulate fertilizers through their Department of Agriculture. The Association of American Plant Food Control Officials (AAPFCO), is an independent organization made up of state control officials from across the country who cooperate to develop a degree of uniformity between states on a number of topics (legislation, labeling safe use, new standards, etc). Since the uniform bills created by AAPFCO are only guidelines for the states and not legally binding, there may still be differences between the states.

Fertilizers are comprised of ingredients such as mixtures of chemicals, minerals, and biological materials that promote a plant’s ability to grow directly based on the nutrients they contain. Soil amendments improve the soil features (physical, chemical and/or biological) to support plant growth and plant amendments are applied to plants to boost plant characteristics. These products can be synthetic, biological, derived from plants, waste-derived or organic depending on their ingredients. Some of these products may also be designed to control or slow the release of nutrients.

TSCA Requirements

Unlike other types of agrochemicals, fertilizers are not exempt from the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). All chemicals found in these products must be listed in the TSCA Inventory. While fertilizers are primarily made up of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and other micronutrients, they can also contain a variety of heavy metals and chemical compounds. To ensure compliance and prevent substantial fines that risk halting business operations, it is crucial that all ingredients adhere to TSCA requirements.

TSG can help

  • Develop label language and format
  • Review label claims
  • Prepare and submit registrations
  • Maintain existing registration (renewals)
  • Submit tonnage reporting
  • Assess TSCA compliance status
  • Provide assistance with efficacy data requirements, if needed
  • Interact with the state regulators
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