State Capitol, Room 125
Juneau, AK 99801-1182
Phone: (907) 465-6600
Fax: (907) 465-3805
600 E. Railroad Ave.
Wasilla, AK 99654-7035
Phone: (907) 376-3370
Fax: (907) 376-3157
An Act relating to the labeling of animal and poultry feeds and to the agriculture program coordinator; and providing for an effective date.
March 27, 2002
Senator Lyda Green's office at (907) 465-6600
Agriculture in Alaska continues to develop as a significant contributor to the state's economy. As this development continues, three areas of concern have become more important. These include:
- organic crop inspections
- feed labeling
- control of noxious weeds
- If the organic label is to be used, Federal organic labeling laws require that an organic food inspector may not have a vested interest or participation in growing or processing the foods being certified. Either an outside inspector or staff person will need to be hired to determine that organic foods have been grown and processed according to standards in regulations.
- Alaska is the only state that doesn't enforce a standard for the labeling of animal feed. It is imperative that consumers know what is in the feed produced or mixed within Alaska. The state needs to enforce the national standards (already published and available) for animal feeds.
- Noxious and invasive plants are becoming a significant concern in Alaska. These plant materials are aggressive and have the potential to forever alter and impact native species. Hunting and fishing lands, agricultural production, recreational activities and tourism could be impacted. Several Western states currently have severe infestation of these weeds and spend millions of dollars per year on control measures. Fortunately, Alaska is in a unique position to avoid severe problems while our invasion is still at a manageable level and immediate eradication and prevention efforts can be utilized.
Senate Bill 353 speak to these three problems by requiring the Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources to:
- appoint an agriculture program coordinator to oversee management of an organic crop labeling program,
- adopt animal feed standards, and
- implement the Strategic Plan for Noxious and Invasive Plant Management aggressive control plan as recommended by and developed in cooperation with federal, state, local and private agencies and groups.
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