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Pennsylvania Contact:

  • Johnny Zook, Seed Program Supervisor
    Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
    Bureau of Plant Industry
    2301 N. Cameron Street
    Harrisburg, PA  17110-9408
    T: 717-787-4894
    F: 717-705-6518
    E: jzook@state.pa.us

Labeling & Distribution Information Survey:

The following responses are provided by the Pennsylvania Department Agriculture in regard to general questions about the Pennsylvania State Seed Law.

VARIETY LABELING

Does your state seed law require "mandatory" variety labeling for agricultural crop kinds?
Answer = YES, only for kinds listed in regulations, same as the Federal Seed Act

Does your law allow for "variety not stated" labeling?
Answer = YES

Does your law allow for "variety unknown" labeling?
Answer = YES

Do you allow the use of the abbreviated term "VNS" to be used in place of the phrase "variety not stated"?
Answer = YES

Does your state seed law allow labeling by "crop kind" only?
Answer = YES, if not required by regulation

ARBITRATION

Does your state offer "Seed Arbitration" as a part of your seed law, or as a separate law?
Answer = NO

PRE-EMPTION LEGISLATION

Does your state have “pre-emption” legislation to restrict local political subdivisions from regulating seed?
Answer = YES

BRAND LABELING

Does your law allow for "brand name" labeling?
Answer = YES, but must also include "VNS" or Variety Not Stated

PERMIT/LICENSING REQUIREMENTS

Does your state law have a permit/license requirement for seedsmen to distribute seeds in your state?
Answer = YES, any entity whose names appear on the label must have a Seed License to sell seed in the state - $25.00.

TEST DATE

What are your germination test date requirements for agricultural seed?
Answer = 9 months, and 1 year for small package containers

What are your germination test date requirements for vegetable seed?
Answer = 12 months - must have a sell by date

What are your germination test date requirements for lawn & turf seeds?
Answer = 15 months - must have a sell by date

SELL BY/PACKED FOR
Does your state law include requirements for "Sell By"/"Packed For" labeling vegetables, flowers and turf grass? If yes, please briefly explain.
Answer = YES, it is permissible to label vegetable and flower seed kinds in containers of 1 pound or less with the statement: "Packed for (YY)" and "Sell by (12/YY)" and an identifying lot number for the calendar year in which they are being offered for sale.

OTHER SEED KINDS REGULATED
Does your state regulate flower seeds?
Answer = YES

Does your state regulate Native/Conservation/reclamation species?
Answer = YES, truth in labeling

GMO REGULATIONS

Does your state law have any specific language regulating "GMOs"?
Answer = NO

Does your state test for specific GMO varietal traits on official samples?
Answer =YES, Roundup on corn soybeans

RELATIONSHIP TO RUSSL

Does your state seed law model RUSSL?
Answer = YES, for the most part

UNIQUE (MISCELLANEOUS) REQUIREMENTS

Does your state seed law have any "unique" or special requirements and/or prohibitions?
Answer = YES, "UGS" 0.50% maximum allowed