United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Feb 28, 2020

§ 1571.
Prohibitions relating to interstate commerce in certain seeds
It shall be unlawful for any person to transport or deliver for transportation in interstate commerce—
(a)
Any agricultural seeds or any mixture of agricultural seeds for seeding purposes, unless each container bears a label giving the following information, in accordance with rules and regulations prescribed under section 1592 of this title.
(1)
The name of the kind or kind and variety for each agricultural seed component present in excess of 5 per centum of the whole and the percentage by weight of each: Provided, That (A), except with respect to seed mixtures intended for lawn and turf purposes, if any such component is one which the Secretary of Agriculture has determined, in rules and regulations prescribed under section 1592 of this title, is generally labeled as to variety, the label shall bear, in addition to the name of the kind, either the name of such variety or the statement “Variety Not Stated”, (B) in the case of any such component which is a hybrid seed it shall, in addition to the above requirements, be designated as hybrid on the label, and (C) seed mixtures intended for lawn and turf purposes shall be designated as a mixture on the label and each seed component shall be listed on the label in the order of predominance;
(2)
Lot number or other identification;
(3)
Origin, stated in accordance with paragraph (a)(1) of this section, of each agricultural seed present which has been designated by the Secretary of Agriculture as one on which a knowledge of the origin is important from the standpoint of crop production, if the origin is known, and if each such seed is present in excess of 5 per centum. If the origin of such agricultural seed or seeds is unknown, that fact shall be stated;
(4)
Percentage by weight of weed seeds, including noxious-weed seeds;
(5)
Kinds of noxious-weed seeds and the rate of occurrence of each, which rate shall be expressed in accordance with and shall not exceed the rate allowed for shipment, movement, or sale of such noxious-weed seeds by the law and regulations of the State into which the seed is offered for transportation or transported or in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Secretary of Agriculture, when under the provisions of section 1561(a)(9)(A)(iii) of this title he shall determine that weeds other than those designated by State requirements are noxious;
(6)
Percentage by weight of agricultural seeds other than those included under paragraph (a)(1) of this section;
(7)
Percentage by weight of inert matter;
(8)
For each agricultural seed, in excess of 5 per centum of the whole, stated in accordance with paragraph (a)(1) of this section, and each kind or variety or type of agricultural seed shown in the labeling to be present in a proportion of 5 per centum or less of the whole, (A) percentage of germination, exclusive of hard seed, (B) percentage of hard seed, if present, and (C) the calendar month and year the test was completed to determine such percentages, except that, in the case of a seed mixture, it is only necessary to state the calendar month and year of such test for the kind or variety or type of agricultural seed contained in such mixture which has the oldest calendar month and year test date among the tests conducted on all the kinds or varieties or types of agricultural seed contained in such mixture;
(9)
Name and address of (A) the person who transports, or delivers for transportation, said seed in interstate commerce, or (B) the person to whom the seed is sold or shipped for resale, together with a code designation approved by the Secretary of Agriculture under rules and regulations prescribed under section 1592 of this title, indicating the person who transports or delivers for transportation said seed in interstate commerce;
(10)
The year and month beyond which an inoculant, if shown in the labeling, is no longer claimed to be effective.
(b)
Any vegetable seeds, for seeding purposes, in containers, unless each container bears a label giving the following information in accordance with rules and regulations prescribed under section 1592 of this title:
(1)
For containers of one pound or less of seed that germinates equal to or above the standard last established by the Secretary of Agriculture, as provided under section 1593(c) of this title
(A)
The name of each kind and variety of seed, and if two or more kinds or varieties are present, the percentage of each, and further, that in the case of any such component which is a hybrid seed, it shall be designated as hybrid on the label; and
(B)
Name and address of—
(i)
the person who transports, or delivers for transportation, said seed in interstate commerce; or
(ii)
the person to whom the seed is sold or shipped for resale, together with a code designation approved by the Secretary of Agriculture under rules and regulations prescribed under section 1592 of this title, indicating the person who transports or delivers for transportation said seed in interstate commerce;
(2)
For containers of one pound or less of seed that germinates less than the standard last established by the Secretary of Agriculture, as provided under section 1593(c) of this title
(A)
The name of each kind and variety of seed, and if two or more kinds or varieties are present, the percentage of each, and further, that in the case of any such component which is a hybrid seed, it shall be designated as hybrid on the label; and
(B)
For each named kind and variety of seed—
(i)
the percentage of germination, exclusive of hard seed;
(ii)
the percentage of hard seed, if present;
(iii)
the calendar month and year the test was completed to determine such percentages;
(iv)
the words “Below Standard”; and
(C)
Name and address of—
(i)
the person who transports, or delivers for transportation, said seed in interstate commerce; or
(ii)
the person to whom the seed is sold or shipped for resale, together with a code designation approved by the Secretary of Agriculture under rules and regulations prescribed under section 1592 of this title, indicating the person who transports or delivers for transportation said seed in interstate commerce.
(3)
For containers of more than one pound of seed—
(A)
The name of each kind and variety of seed, and if two or more kinds or varieties are present, the percentage of each and, further, that in the case of any such component which is a hybrid seed, it shall be designated as hybrid on the label;
(B)
Lot number or other lot identification;
(C)
For each named kind and variety of seed—
(i)
the percentage of germination, exclusive of hard seed;
(ii)
the percentage of hard seed, if present;
(iii)
the calendar month and year the test was completed to determine such percentages; and
(D)
Name and address of—
(i)
the person who transports, or delivers for transportation, said seed in interstate commerce; or
(ii)
the person to whom the seed is sold or shipped for resale, together with a code designation approved by the Secretary of Agriculture under rules and regulations prescribed under section 1592 of this title, indicating the person who transports or delivers for transportation said seed in interstate commerce.
(c)
Any agricultural or vegetable seed unless the test to determine the percentage of germination required by this section shall have been completed within a five-month period, exclusive of the calendar month in which the test was completed, immediately prior to transportation or delivery for transportation in interstate commerce: Provided, however, That the Secretary of Agriculture may by rules and regulations designate: (1) a shorter period for kinds of agricultural or vegetable seed which he finds under ordinary conditions of handling will not maintain, during the aforesaid five-month period, a germination within the established limits of tolerance; or (2) a longer period for any kind of agricultural or vegetable seed which (A) is packaged in such container materials and under such other conditions prescribed by the Secretary of Agriculture as he finds will, during such longer period, maintain the viability of said seed under ordinary conditions of handling; or (B) the Secretary finds will maintain a percentage of germination within the limits of tolerance established under this chapter under ordinary conditions of handling.
(d)
Any agricultural seeds or vegetable seeds having a false labeling, or pertaining to which there has been a false advertisement, or to sell or offer for sale such seed for interstate shipment by himself or others.
(e)
Seed which is required to be stained under the provisions of this chapter and the regulations made and promulgated thereunder, and is not so stained.
(f)
Seed which has been stained to resemble seed stained in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and the regulations made and promulgated thereunder.
(g)
Seed which is a mixture of seeds which are required to be stained or which are stained with different colors under the provisions of this chapter and of the regulations made and promulgated thereunder, or which is a mixture of any seed required to be stained under the provisions of this chapter and of the regulations made and promulgated thereunder, with seed of the same kind produced in the United States.
(h)
Screenings of any seed subject to this chapter, unless they are not intended for seeding purposes; and it is stated on the label, if in containers, or on the invoice if in bulk, that they are intended for cleaning, processing, or manufacturing purposes, and not for seeding purposes.
(i)
Any agricultural seeds or any mixture thereof or any vegetable seeds or any mixture thereof, for seeding purposes, that have been treated, unless each container thereof bears a label giving the following information and statements in accordance with rules and regulations prescribed under section 1592 of this title:
(1)
A word or statement indicating that the seeds have been treated;
(2)
The commonly accepted coined, chemical (generic), or abbreviated chemical name of any substance used in such treatment;
(3)
If the substance used in such treatment in the amount remaining with the seeds is harmful to humans or other vertebrate animals, an appropriate caution statement approved by the Secretary of Agriculture as adequate for the protection of the public, such as “Do not use for food or feed or oil purposes”: Provided, That the caution statement for mercurials and similarly toxic substances, as defined in said rules and regulations, shall be a representation of a skull and crossbones and a statement such as “This seed has been treated with POISON”, in red letters on a background of distinctly contrasting color; and
(4)
A description, approved by the Secretary of Agriculture as adequate for the protection of the public, of any process used in such treatment.
(Aug. 9, 1939, ch. 615, title II, § 201, 53 Stat. 1279; Pub. L. 85–581, §§ 5–8, Aug. 1, 1958, 72 Stat. 476; Pub. L. 89–686, §§ 4–10, Oct. 15, 1966, 80 Stat. 975–977; Pub. L. 97–439, §§ 2–4, Jan. 8, 1983, 96 Stat. 2287.)
cite as: 7 USC 1571