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January 31, 2020

USDA Proposes Revisions To FSA Regulations

Lynn L Bergeson

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On January 27, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced that it is accepting comments on its proposed revisions to regulations implemented under the Federal Seed Act (FSA). The proposed rule includes revisions to seed labeling, testing, and certification requirements, including new eligibility standards and the recognition of current breeding techniques. Revised FSA regulations would add certain seed species to the lists of covered kinds of seed and update the lists to reflect current scientific nomenclature. In addition, the proposed revisions would update regulations related to seed quality, germination and purity standards, and acceptable seed testing methods. AMS’s aim is to align FSA regulations with current industry practices, harmonize FSA testing methods and industry standards, and clarify confusing or contradictory language in the existing regulations. As a result of these revisions, AMS expects that trade burden associated with interstate seed commerce would be reduced, encouraging compliance with state and federal laws. Comments on the proposed rule must be submitted on or prior to March 27, 2020.