As a salesman and advertiser of fertilizers it’s fun to watch the Super Bowl advertisements. The nations biggest brands showcase their creative efforts. After watching the Ad by Doritos which “claims” that Doritos can bring your pets, plants, and grandfather back to life, I wondered how different the Super Bowl (and the ad industry) would be if all products being sold would have to adhere to the State of Wisconsin Department of Agriculutre, Trade and Consumer Protection.
From the State of Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection.
ATCP 40.02 Definitions
(18) “Labeling” means labels and other written, graphic or pictorial statements that accompany a fertilizer or a soil or plant additive, or that promote the sale or distribution of fertilizer or soil or plant additives. “Labeling” includes advertising and website materials that promote the sale or distribution of a fertilizer or soil or plant additive.
Like many manufactured goods, fertilizers are regulated for quality, this is done at the state level. Where does regulating for quality cross over to the ablity to regulate claims?
The Association of American Plant Food Control Officials (AAPFCO) is the national organization of fertilizer control officials from each state, Puerto Rico and Canada responsible for administering fertilizer law and regulation. AAPFCO ensures adequate labeling of fertilizers by establishing standard definitions for each fertilizer type. State control officials then test the nutrient content of fertilizers to ensure the mixture is consistent with these standards. This process protects consumers by making sure that the label on the fertilizer they purchase is consistent with its nutrient content. AAPFCO regulations also address the presence of naturally occurring metals in some fertilizers. At the end of the day each state still decides how their laws will be written and enforced.
What about a company that manufactures products sold in many states? If the soils are relatively similar in one field to the next does a fertilizer work differently just because one field is across an imaginary state line? Should the products that make food be held to a tougher standard than food (Think Activia
Is the Wisconsin Department of Ag implying that farmers are generally dumber than the general public? Sure it’s obvious that Doritos can’t bring your grandpa back to life, but maybe I should try them in my garden this summer!