Adam Leaphart, Ph.D., M(ASCP)CM, Laboratory Services Director

123 Ballard Court
West Columbia, SC

The Laboratory Services Department works to protect consumers from unsafe, ineffective, or fraudulent goods by employing various chemical, biological, and physical analyses to ensure that they meet acceptable standards of quality.

The Laboratory is composed of four sections that analyze various goods and commodities:

  • Animal Feed Laboratory: Animal feeds, pet foods, pet treats, and grains                                        
  • Dairy and Milk Laboratory: Pasteurized milk and raw cow, goat, and sheep milk
  • Petroleum Products Laboratory: Gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel, home heating fuel, and anti-freeze
  • Seed Laboratory: Garden seeds, crop seeds, grass seeds, and grain seeds

Animal Feed Lab

The Animal Feed Lab performs chemical and microscopic analyses to ensure feed products are safe and effective for their intended purposes. Consumer complaints are investigated when purchasers receive feed they believe does not conform to guarantees and/or causes harm to their animals. The South Carolina Commercial Feed Law regulates the manufacture and distribution of commercial feed within the state. It mandates annual registration of commercial feed and pet food distributed in the state.

Dairy and Milk Lab

The Dairy and Milk Laboratory performs various analyses to ensure the safety and quality of Pasteurized and raw milk. Using FDA-approved test methods, all pasteurized milk, as well as raw cow, goat, and sheep milk, are evaluated to confirm they meet Grade “A”  standards. Samples are collected by SCDA milk safety officers from state milk plants and independent dairy farms, then submitted to the laboratory for testing.  Additionally, the laboratory tests pasteurized milk containers, caps, rolls, and frozen desserts.

Petroleum Products Lab

The Petroleum Products Lab analyzes gasoline and diesel fuel products to verify quality and safety. Random samples are collected from gas pumps across the state during routine inspections for analysis. The lab conducts between 22,000 and 25,000 analyses per year. Samples are also collected when consumers file a complaint.

Seed Lab

The Seed Lab conducts germination and purity testing for citizens, farmers, businesses, and wholesalers as prescribed by the South Carolina Seed Law, Seed Regulations, and the Noxious Weed Act.  The South Carolina Seed Law requires seed to be tested and meet specific standards before it can be sold. The law also requires anyone wishing to sell seed in South Carolina to be licensed through SCDA Consumer Protection Division. Information regarding the sale of seed can be found in the South Carolina Seed Law  and application for sale of seed can be found at South Carolina Seed License Application.

Special testing such as Round-up Ready, Seed Count per Pound, and Accelerated Aging are also offered.

The lab does germination and purity testing for the SC Seed Certification Program which falls under the Department of Plant Industry at Clemson University.  Seed lots are required to meet rigid standards for germination and purity based on laboratory analyses conducted by the SCDA Seed Laboratory.

The Seed Lab analysts are a member of the Association of Official Seed Analysts (AOSA) and the Association of American Seed Control Officials (AASCO).

For additional information, please view the forms page for Seed License Application, Seed Test Request Form, and Amount of Seed Required for Testing Sheet. See a list of Licensed Seed Companies or search for a company here.