Louisiana Seed Law

Summary: The permit is required whenever seeds are "distributed" -- triggering regulation of seed libraries. 

The label requirements are only for seeds offered for sale. 

The testing requirements apply to any seed being "distributed," which would trigger seed library compliance.

§1431.  Terms defined

As used in this Part, the following terms have the meanings given:

(1)  "Advertisement" means all representations, other than those on the label, disseminated in any manner or by any means, relating to seed within the scope of this  Part.

(2)  "Agricultural seed" means any lawn, flower, oil, grass, forage, cereal, fiber, or other kinds of crop seed sold, offered for sale, or used in Louisiana for agricultural or other purposes, and any combinations of such seeds.

(8)  "Farm" means a piece or tract of land on which an agricultural, vegetable, or flower crop is grown or allowed to grow.

(9)  "Flower seeds" are seeds of all plants grown for ornamental purposes for domestic or commercial use.

(15) "Labeling" includes all labels and other written, printed, or graphic representations accompanying and pertaining to any seed, whether in bulk or containers.  Labeling includes invoices and other bills of shipment when sold in bulk.  The labels shall be uniform in accordance with the standards adopted by the Association of Southern Seed Control Officials.

(17)  "Minor violation" means a violation of noncompliance that does not create a competitive disadvantage for licensees in full compliance, is not a violation that adversely affects human health, safety or the environment, is not a violation performed with malicious, deliberate or fraudulent intent, and is not a repetitive violation.

(22)  "Person" means any individual, firm, corporation, association, or partnership.

(25)  "Retail seedsman" means any person who sells seed at retail directly to the consumer either in quantities of not less than one pound or any quantity including closed containers of less than one pound.

(26)  "Seed" is a propagative part of a plant capable of producing a new plant, including but not limited to those parts commonly referred to as seeds, bulbs, roots, tubers, and other propagating stock.

§1436.  Labeling of seeds

Each container of agricultural, vegetable, or flower seeds, or other propagating stock that is sold or offered for sale in Louisiana for planting purposes shall bear thereon or have attached thereto in a conspicuous place a label plainly written or printed in the English language.  The label shall give the following information:

(1)  For all agricultural, vegetable, and flower seeds treated as defined in this  Part for which a separate label may be used:

(a)  A word or statement indicating that the seed has been treated.

(b)  The commonly accepted coined, chemical or abbreviated chemical or generic name of the applied substance or description of the process used.

(c)  If the substance in the amount present with the seed is harmful to human or other vertebrate animals, a caution statement such as "Do not use for food, feed, or oil purposes".  The caution for mercurials and similarly toxic substances shall be a poison statement or symbol.

(d)  If the seed is treated with an inoculant, the date beyond which the inoculant is not to be considered effective (date of expiration).

(2)  On agricultural seeds:

(a)  Except as otherwise provided herein, the commonly accepted name of the kind and variety of each agricultural seed component in excess of five percent of the whole, and the percentage of weight of each in the order of its predominance.  The provisions of this Subparagraph shall not prohibit the sale of wheat and oat seeds  that are labeled "variety not stated" and that meet the other requirements of this Part.  The commission may adopt rules and regulations governing the sale and labeling of variety not stated wheat and oat seeds. Hybrids shall be labeled as hybrids.

(b)  The number or other lot identification.

(c)  The origin of the seed.  If the origin is not known, that fact shall be stated.

(d)  The percentage by weight of all weed seeds.

(e)  The name and number per pound of each kind of noxious weed seed.

(f)  The percentage by weight of crop seeds other than those required to be on the label.

(g)  The percentage by weight of inert matter.

(h)  For each named agricultural seed: the percentage of germination, exclusive of hard seed; the percentage of hard seed when present; and the calendar month and year the test was completed to determine such percentages.

(i)  Name and address of the person who labeled said seed or who sells, offers, or exposes said seed for sale within this state.

(3)  On vegetable seeds in containers of more than one pound:

(a)  The name of the kind and variety of the seed.

(b)  The number or other lot identification.

(c)  The percentage of germination.

(d)  The calendar month and year the test to determine the percentages was completed.

(e)   Name and address of the person who labeled said seed or who sells, offers, or exposes said seed for sale within this state.

(f)  For seeds which germinate less than the standards established by the commission, the words "Below Standard" printed or written in ink, in not less than eight-point type, on the face of the label in addition to all other information required.

(4)  On vegetable seeds in containers of one pound or less which germinate equal to or above the standards established by the commission under the provisions of R.S. 3:1433(3)(a):

(a)  The name of each kind and variety of seed, and if there are two or more kinds or varieties 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)  The lot number or other lot identification.

(c)  The name and address of the person who transports, delivers for transportation, sells, offers for sale, or exposes for sale the seed in this state.

(d)  The calendar month and year of the germination test.

(5)  On vegetable seeds in containers of one pound or less that germinate less than the standards established by the commission under the provisions of R.S. 3:1433(3)(a):

(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)  For each named kind and variety of seed, the percentage of germination.

(c)  The word "Below Standard" in not less than eight-point type.

(d)  The lot number or other lot identification.

(e)  The calendar month and year the germination tests were completed.

(f)  The name and address of the person who transports, delivers for transportation, sells, offers for sale, or exposes for sale the seed in this state.

(6)  On every separate package of flower seeds and other propagating stock:

(a)  The name of the kind and variety of the seeds.

(b)  The lot number or other lot identification.

(c)  The year for which the seeds were packed for sale.

(d)  The name and address of the person who labels, distributes, offers for sale, exposes for sale, or sells the seed in this state.

(7)  On combination mulch, seed, and fertilizer products:

(a)  The word "combination" followed by the words "mulch-seed-fertilizer" must appear on the upper thirty percent of the principal display panel. The word "combination" must be the largest and most conspicuous type on the container, equal to or larger than the product name.  The words "mulch-seed-fertilizer" shall be no smaller than one-half the size of the word "combination" and in close proximity to the word "combination".  These products shall contain a minimum of seventy percent mulch.

(b)  Analysis label - Agricultural, lawn, and turf seeds placed in a germination medium, mat, tape, or other device or mixed with mulch shall be labeled as follows:

(i)  Product name.

(ii)  Lot number.

(iii)  Percentage by weight of pure seed of each kind and variety named which may be less than five percent of the whole.

(iv)  Percentage by weight of other crop seeds.

(v)  Percentage by weight of inert matter which shall not be less than seventy percent.

(vi)  Percentage by weight of weed seeds.

(vii)  Name and number of noxious weed seeds per pound, if present.

(viii)  Percentage of germination and hard seed of each kind or kind and variety named and date of test.

(ix)  Name and address of the person who labels the seed.

§1437.  Registration of seed dealers

A.  Every person, except persons exempt by R.S. 3:1445, who sells, distributes, or offers or handles for sale agricultural, vegetable, or flower seeds or other propagating stock of one pound or more in weight shall register with the commissioner as a seed dealer.   Every seed dealer shall register the number and location of each place of business at which the seeds are sold, distributed, or offered or handled for sale.  The commissioner shall issue to the registered seed dealer a license to engage in the business.

B.  The commissioner shall issue a license on an annual basis with licenses expiring on the first day of July of each year following the issuance date.  The commissioner shall establish the fee for the license.  The fee shall be established by rule adopted in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.  The amount of the fee shall not exceed one hundred dollars.

§1439.  Failure of seed dealer to register; effect

The commissioner may issue a stop order against any seed dealer who fails to comply with R.S. 3:1437.

§1440.  Stop order

A stop order shall prohibit further sale, exchange, movement, or distribution of seeds included in the order until the commissioner is satisfied that this Part and rules and regulations of the commission have been complied with and the commissioner has issued a written release to the person with such seed.  After a stop order is given, the person receiving the stop order shall have thirty days within which to comply and to obtain a written release of the order.  This Section shall not prevent the commissioner from proceeding in accordance with other Sections in this Part.

§1443.  Disclaimer or nonwarranty clause of no effect

The use of a disclaimer or nonwarranty clause in any invoice, advertisement, or label pertaining to seeds shall not exempt a person from the provisions of this  Part.

§1444.  Prohibitions

No person shall:

(1)  Sell, offer for sale, transport, or distribute any agricultural, vegetable, or flower seeds unless the seeds have been tested in accordance with the rules and regulations adopted by the Agricultural Chemistry and Seed Commission.  The commission by rule may require information relative to the test to be affixed to the packaging of the seeds.

(2)  Sell, offer for sale, transport, or distribute any agricultural, vegetable or flower seeds that are not labeled in accordance with this Part or that have false or misleading labeling.

(3)  Sell, offer for sale, transport, or distribute any agricultural, vegetable, or flower seeds for which there has been false or misleading advertisement.

(4)  Sell, offer for sale, transport, or distribute any agricultural seeds containing noxious weed seeds, subject to tolerances and methods of determinations, in excess of those prescribed under this Part.

(5)  Detach, deface, destroy, or use a second time any label provided for in this Part or the rules and regulations made by the commission.

(6)  Alter or falsify any seeds, seed labels, seed tests, laboratory reports, records, or other documents to create a misleading impression as to kind, kind of variety, history, quality, or origin of seed.

(7)  Disseminate any false or misleading advertisement concerning agricultural, vegetable, or flower seeds.

(8)  Obstruct in any way any authorized person in the performance of his duties under this Part.

(9)  Fail to comply with a stop order or to move or otherwise handle or dispose of any lot of seed held under a stop order, except with express permission of the commissioner for the purposes specified by him.

(10)  Use relabeling stickers without having both the calendar, month, and year the germination test was completed and the lot number that matches the existing, original lot number.

§1445.  Exemptions

A.  The provisions of R.S. 3:1436 shall not apply:

(1)  To common carriers with respect to seeds transported in the ordinary course of business as a carrier.  R.S. 3:1436 shall apply to carriers engaged in processing or merchandising seeds subject to the provisions of this Part.

(2)  To seeds sold from a duly labeled container and taken therefrom in the presence of the purchaser.  In such case the container in which the seeds are sold may be unlabeled unless the purchaser requests a label.

(3)  To agricultural seeds when grown, sold, and delivered by the producer on his own premises when the growing of crops for reproductive purposes is not the primary farming occupation of the producer.  If the seeds are advertised for sale through any medium or if the seeds are delivered by a common carrier, except for the purpose of recleaning, they shall be labeled in accordance with this Part.

B.  The provisions of R.S. 3:1444 shall not apply:

(1)  To seeds not intended for planting purposes.

(2)  To seeds in storage in, consigned to, or being transported to seed cleaning or processing establishments for cleaning and processing only.  Any labeling or representation that is made with respect to the unclean seeds shall be subject to this  Part.

(3)  To agricultural seeds when grown, sold, and delivered by the producer on his own premises when the growing of crops for reproductive purposes is not the primary farming occupation of the producer.  If the seeds are advertised for sale through any medium or if the seeds are delivered by a common carrier, except for the purpose of recleaning, they shall be labeled in accordance with this Part.

(4)  To seeds which are incorrectly labeled or represented as to kind, variety and origin if the seeds cannot be identified by examination, unless the person responsible for labeling failed to obtain an invoice or grower’s declaration giving kind, variety, and origin.

§1446.  Penalty for violation; procedures for imposition of penalties

A.  Whoever violates this Part or the rules and regulations made under this  Part may be subject to a civil penalty of not more than five hundred dollars for each act of violation and for each day of violation.  Each day on which a violation occurs shall be a separate offense.

B.  Penalties may be assessed only by a ruling of the commission based upon an adjudicatory hearing held in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act and this Part as follows:

(1)  The commission shall be convened by the commissioner for the purpose of hearing any alleged violation of this Part or any rule and regulation adopted pursuant to this Part.

(2)  The commissioner shall appoint a hearing officer to preside over the hearing.

(3)  The commission shall make an initial determination on the matter. This determination shall be submitted to the commissioner in writing.

(4)  The commissioner shall make the final determination on the matter. If the determination of the commissioner differs from the determination of the commission, the commissioner shall issue a written opinion based on the record of the hearing.

(5)  Nothing in this Section shall be construed as requiring the commission to institute adjudicatory proceedings for minor violations of this Part when the department believes that the public interest will best be served by a suitable notice of noncompliance in writing.

PART II.  FRAUD OF NURSERYMEN

§1551.  Repealed by Acts 2013, No. 26, §3, eff. May 23, 2013.

Louisiana used to require nurserymen to obtain a surety bond, but this was repealed.