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NO. 97.  AN ACT RELATING TO GENETICALLY ENGINEERED SEED.

(H.777)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  6 V.S.A. § 611(c) is added to read:

(c)  This chapter requires the identification of seeds that have been genetically engineered.  The purpose of such identification is to help avoid  adverse effects on the potential benefits of genetic engineering technologies and on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity through the use of such seeds.

Sec. 2.  6 V.S.A. § 641 is amended to read:  

§ 641.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this chapter:

* * *

(5)  “Labeling” includes tags or other devices attached to, or written, stamped, or printed on any container or accompanying any lot of bulk seeds.

* * *

(9)  “Genetically engineered seed” means seed produced using a variety of methods, as identified by the National Organic Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, used to modify genetically organisms or influence their growth and development by means that are not possible under natural conditions or processes.  Such methods include cell fusion, microencapsulation and macroencapsulation, and recombinant DNA technology (including gene deletion, gene doubling, introducing a foreign gene, and changing the positions of genes when achieved by recombinant DNA technology).  Such methods do not include the use of traditional breeding, conjugation, fermentation, hybridization, in vitro fertilization, or tissue culture.

(10)  “Genetically engineered plant part” means a whole plant or plant part, including scions intended for planting, which contains material derived from a GE seed or is itself produced using the methods described in subdivision (9) of this section.

Sec. 3.  6 V.S.A. § 644 is amended to read:

§ 644.  LABEL REQUIREMENTS FOR AGRICULTURAL, FLOWER, AND

            VEGETABLE SEEDS

(a)  Each container of agricultural, flower, and vegetable seeds which is sold in this state for sowing purposes shall be labeled.

(1)  All labels shall include:

* * *

(4)  For all seed containing genetically engineered material the label or labeling shall specify the identity and relevant traits or characteristics of such seed, plus any requirements for their safe handling, storage, transport, and use, the contact point for further information and, as appropriate, the name and address of the manufacturer, distributor, or supplier of such seed.

(b)  The secretary may develop rules for labeling procedures consistent with the provisions of this section, which take into account:  origin, presence of weed seed, mixtures, hermetically sealed containers, coated seed, “crop seeds,” genetically engineered material, genetically engineered plant parts, hybrids, germination medium, and preplanted containers.

Sec. 4.  6 V.S.A. § 648(g) is added to read:

(g)  For seeds sold in Vermont which contain genetically engineered material, the manufacturer or processor distributing such seed in Vermont shall report annually on January 15 to the secretary on forms supplied by the secretary regarding sales during the previous calendar year.

Sec. 5.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect October 1, 2004.

Approved:  April 26, 2004



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us