Regina D4. To any carrier in respect to any seed transported or delivered for transportation in the ordinary course of its business as a carrier, provided, that such carrier is not engaged in producing, processing, or marketing seed subject to the provision of this article.
The Georgia Seed Law requires certain labeling for any seeds sold, offered for sale, exposed for sale, or transported within this state for planting purposes. The labeling requirements include, among other things, germination test results, lot numbers, and addresses of the labelers. Because seed libraries do not do any of the activities underlined above, this seed law should not apply. Additionally, there is an exemption for farmers who sell seed on their farm and do not advertise or transport such seeds on a public carrier.
The Georgia Rules and Regulations regarding seed define a "seed dealer" as someone who "sells seed, including persons who label seed, transfer and market seed within the trade or sell seed to purchasers." Seed libraries and other community-based seed sharing initatives can exclude themselves from this definition by not engaging in any of the activities described in this definition.
2-11-22. Labeling requirements.
(a) Labeling required. Each bag, container, package, or bulk of seeds which is sold, offered for sale, exposed for sale, or transported within this state for planting purposes shall bear thereon or have attached thereto in a conspicuous place a plainly written or printed label or tag in the English language, giving the information specified in subsections (b) through (j) of this Code section, which statement shall not be modified or denied in the labeling or on another label attached to the container. The labeler is responsible to assure that the required labeling is applied to each container or, in the case of bulk seed, that required labeling is shown on the invoice. All invoices and records pertaining to the shipment or sale of seed must show each lot number.
(f) For vegetable seeds in containers of one pound or less or preplanted containers, mats, tapes, or other planting devices, the following information shall be given:
(1) The name of kind and variety of seed;
(2) The lot number or other lot identification;
(3) The year for which the seed was packed for sale as 'Packed for __________' or the percent germination and the calendar month and year the test was completed to determine such percentage;
(4) For seed which germinate less than the standard last established by the Commissioner under this article:
(A) The percentage of germination, exclusive of hard seed or dormant seed;
(B) The percentage of hard seed or dormant seed, if present;
(C) The calendar month and year the test was completed to determine such percentage; and
(D) For seed that germinate less than the standard last established by the Commissioner, the words 'below standard' in not less than eight-point type must be printed or written with permanence on the face of the label, in addition to the other information required, provided that no seed marked 'below standard' shall be sold if it falls more than 20 percent below the established standard for such seed;
(5) The name and address of the person who labeled the seed or who sells, offers, or exposes the seed for sale within this state; and
(6) For seeds placed in a germination medium, mat, tape, or other device in such a way as to make it difficult to determine the quantity of seed without removing the seeds from the medium, mat, tape, or device, a statement to indicate the minimum number of seeds in the container.
2-11-32. Exemption from article.
No person or vendor shall be subject to the penalties of this article for having sold or offered or exposed for sale in this state any seed incorrectly labeled or represented as to variety or origin when the variety or origin of such seed could not be identified by examination thereof, unless he or she failed to obtain an invoice, grower’s declaration, or other document indicating variety and origin and failed to take such other precautions as were necessary or required to ensure that the identity and variety of the seed were as stated.
2-11-33. Applicability of Code Sections 2-11-21 and 2-11-22.
Code Sections 2-11-21 and 2-11-22 shall not apply:
(1) To seed sold by a farmer or grower to a seed dealer or conditioner or in storage in or consigned to a seed cleaning or conditioning establishment for cleaning or processing, provided that any labeling or other representation which may be made with respect to uncleaned seed shall be subject to this article;
(2) To seed grown by a farmer or other person, who sells it as such, when it is sold at his or her own farm and he or she does not advertise or transfer it by any public carrier provided such activity is not in conflict with paragraph (7) of subsection (a) of Code Section 2-11-23 or requirements of the United States Plant Variety Protection Act;
(3) To seed or grain not intended for planting purposes, provided that such seed or grain sold to a farmer or consumer which could be used for planting purposes shall be marked or tagged 'for feed' or 'not for planting'; and
(4) To any carrier, in respect to any seed transported or delivered for transportation in the ordinary course of its business as a carrier, if such carrier is not engaged in producing, processing, or marketing agricultural or vegetable seed which is subject to this article.
(b) 'Seed Dealer' means any person who sells seed, including persons who label seed, transfer and market seed within the trade or sell seed to purchasers, except for farmers or other persons that sell seed they produced and sell it as such at their own farm and they do not advertise or transfer it by any public carrier.
This law seems very vague, albeit it is understandable - to me- that Wyoming wants to control weed seeds and curtail any grain seeds, particularly those which are certifiable (have certain characteristics or trademark), along with any fraud that could be perpetrated by anyone (individual, seed seller/distributor, or corporation - albeit the latter not being provided here). However, what is the criteria by which anyone determines whether or not seed is certifiable (11-12-120), and does an individual who wants certification induce a seller to break the law to provide that certification? Moreover, (11-12-102) exempts a person who does not intend to sell his seed or plant it: the point there is? However, it all comes down to the victim's perception of what was sold to him/her in terms of quality and whether or not under Wyoming law the seed law has been violated.
Thanks for this summary, Kim. This law is vague in some respects. For example, there is no definition of "sell" to define whether seed sharing would fall into that definition. In this case, it would be reasonable to believe that non-commercial sharing of seeds does not consitute selling seeds. In fact, the licensing, lableling, and testing requirements only apply to the "sale and offer for sale or distribution" of seeds, which should not apply to seed libraries or any other non-commercial seed sharing activity. The exemption for seed not intended for planting exists to apply to seed cleaners and conditioners, since they are just in temporary possession of seeds.
(a) This act 11-12-101 through 11-12-123] does not apply to any person who:
(i) Has seeds in storage for conditioning or cleaning and the intended use of the seed is not planting;
(ii) Is a resident grower of seed who sells his seed to a seed dealer who is licensed pursuant to this act;
(iii) Repealed By Laws 2006, Chapter 114, 2.
(b) Any resident grower who sells or offers for sale any agricultural, vegetable, flower or tree seeds grown only by him and sold or offered for sale at the headquarters of his operations directly to grower planters of the seed and not for resale is exempt from the licensing provisions under W.S. 11-12-103.
(a) Any person who sells or offers for sale or distribution in Wyoming any seeds shall obtain a license from the department. The license shall expire annually on March 31. Application for the license shall include the name and address of the person to whom the license is to be issued and the location of the place
or places of business of the applicant. The application shall be accompanied by the license fee authorized by W.S. 11-1-104 for each place of business selling seeds in packets, packages or bulk of ten (10) pounds or more. This subsection shall not apply to any person licensed in accordance with W.S. 11-11-103.
(b) Any person who conditions grain or seed for hire in Wyoming shall obtain a license from the department. The license shall expire annually on March 31. Application for the license shall include the name and address of the person to whom the license is to be issued and the location of the place or places of business of the applicant. The application shall be accompanied by the license fee which shall be the same as the fee established for a seed dealer license. This subsection shall not apply to any person licensed in accordance with W.S. 11-11-103.
(c) Charitable and educational institutions shall be exempt from licensing requirements imposed by this section.
NOTE: Interesting to note here that Wyoming law exempts any charitable and educational institutions from the licensing requirement. Presumably, seed libraries and other organizations that promote non-commercial seed sharing are exempted from the licensing requirement, but it's not clear that informal, unincorporated groups would be able to use this exemption.
11-12-104. Restrictions on the sale of weed seeds; allowed tolerance for other noxious weeds; rulemaking.
(a) No person shall sell or offer for sale or distribution in Wyoming seed which contains any prohibited noxious weed seeds. The department, by rule and regulation, may establish a list of prohibited noxious weeds, restricted noxious weeds and regulated weeds and establish tolerances for restricted noxious
(a) Each lot of seed which is sold or offered for sale in Wyoming, shall be legibly labeled in English upon the exterior of the container with a written or printed label. The label shall show:
No person shall sell in the retail trade in this state, any seed which contains two percent (2%) or more of weed seeds by weight.
11-12-108. Screenings to be specially labeled and free from noxious weed seeds; seizure and destruction; grain cleaning establishments.
Screenings of any seeds or grains which are offered for sale by any person shall be legibly labeled as such and not sold as seeds. They shall be free of prohibited noxious weed seeds and shall not exceed the tolerance established on restricted noxious weed seed. Screenings found to contain weed seeds in violation of this section are subject to seizure by the director of the department of agriculture. Screenings are subject to the provisions of W.S. 11-12-104(d).
11-12-109. Failure to label or false labeling of seeds.
It is unlawful for any person to sell or offer for sale or to deliver within Wyoming any seeds which are misbranded or are not labeled in accordance with the requirements of W.S. 11-12-103 through 11-12-108, or if the seed is falsely labeled in any respect, subject to such tolerance as established by the board.
The director shall enforce this act. The director or his agents shall have free access at all reasonable hours upon and into any premises or structures where seed is stored or offered for sale,except federally sealed granaries or warehouses, to examine any seeds and, upon tendering payment therefor at the current value, may take from any person a sample or samples of the seeds.
Some seed laws include discretionary enforcement, but it seems that in Wyoming that is not the case. The director is explicitly directed to enforce all provisions of this act. In the event that a change in enforcement practices is required, it may be more difficult to convince the director to stop enforcing a law because it seems inappropriate since s/he as a specific legal mandate to enforce. Legislative changes would be necessary in this case to override the Director's enforcement in this case.
11-12-117. Disposition of collected funds.
All funds collected from seed analyses shall be deposited in the general fund.
11-12-118. Duty of district or county and prosecuting attorney to prosecute reported violations.
The CA Seed Law was adopted in 1967. It has a definition of "sell" that may be broadly interepreted to apply to non-commercial seed sharing. There are some exceptions already in the law that could include an exception for seed sharing.
(1) Transferring ownership, offering or exposing for sale, exchanging, distributing, giving away, or transporting in this state;
NOTES: This section exempts certain activities related to seed distribution from the labeling and germination testing requirements under the law. There is no existing exemption for noncommercial seed sharing activities or seed micro-enterprises.
Florida's seed law applies only to the sale, offer for sale, distribution for sale, exposure for sale, handling for sale, or soliciting for purchase of seeds. As long as a seed library is not doing any of these things, they should be fine.