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H.490

Introduced by   Representative Smith of New Haven

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Agriculture; organic; seeds

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to require registration by the secretary of agriculture, food and markets and verification by a third party of seed labeled or sold, or both, as organic to ensure that the seed is free of genetically engineered materials and to authorize the secretary to charge a fee for testing services.

AN ACT RELATING TO THE REGISTRATION AND VERIFICATION OF ORGANIC SEEDS

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

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

(d)  This chapter requires that any seed to be labeled and sold as organic in the state of Vermont shall be registered by the secretary and verified by an independent third party to ensure that the seed is free of genetically engineered materials prior to labeling or sale of such seed.


Sec. 2.  6 V.S.A. § 641(11) and (12) are added to read:

(11)  “Organic” refers to an agricultural product produced in accordance with the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, as amended (7 U.S.C.

§§ 6501 et seq.), and meeting the standards and regulations of the National Organic Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for agricultural products labeled or sold as organic.

(12)  "Organic seed" means seed produced according to organic standards as described in subdivision (11) of this section and which has also been registered by the secretary and verified by an independent third party to be free of genetically engineered materials.

Sec. 3.  6 V.S.A. § 642(a)(3) is amended and (4) is added to read:

(3)  cooperating with the United States Department of Agriculture and other agencies in seed enforcement;

(4)  registering all seed to be labeled or sold as organic in this state, verifying by an independent third party that such seed is free of genetically engineered materials and to fix and collect charges for that registration and verification.

Sec. 4.  6 V.S.A. § 644(a)(5) is added to read:

(5)  For all seed labeled as organic, the label or labeling shall specify:

(A)  the identity and relevant traits or characteristics of such seed;

(B)  the mark of the secretary showing that the seed has been tested and is free of genetically engineered materials;

(C)  the name and address of the independent third party that verified the seed is free of genetically engineered materials; and

(D)  the name and address of the manufacturer, distributor, or supplier of such seed.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us