[NAFEX] permit to sell seeds

Heron Breen breen at fedcoseeds.com
Sat Jul 9 19:49:15 EDT 2005

The Federal seed act and most state standards are really vague and non-descript, 
particularly when addressing diseases and seed quality. Yes there is language 
making sure you have to sell true to type seed and advertise its attributes within 
the margins of reality/imagination. But, basically it is up to the integrity of the 
seed companies to determine what level of quality etc they choose to offer. Over 
the last year, I worked with various seed regs in-depth, and most high "standards" 
are only relevant when refering to certified and registered seed, which most garden 
seeds are not. Most states have very stringent standards for certified and 
registered seeds, but the garden trade is pretty much unregulated. The Federal Seed 
Act is, in lieu of my work over the last year, somewhat laughable, as is the very 
underfunded and out-of-touch facilities that that supposedly come up with seed 
regs. Really folks, the big companies do not want specific regs more quality, seed 
size, disease, and some of the finer points. And ASTA pretty much makes the regs. 
This is not badmouthing, it is a sad truth. The seed pathologists I have talked to 
have been almost the only voices of wisdom in the "system".
Another good point about the "seeds intended to be planted in Minn..". Many 
customers buy seeds from a company from their second home, office, for their 
grandmother in another state, what have you. How in hell is a seed company 
responsible or even able to ascertain where the customer is going to plant their 
seeds. For example, a fellow buys plants from his home in the southwest to plant at 
his summer home in the midwest. Does a company use the billing address or the 
shipping address? Do we make ever customer sign a letter of intentionas to where 
they wish to plant their seeds? What about seeds folks buy but don't plant? The 
holes in this sort of regulation are many and obvious.
Heron Breen
zone 4, Maine  

On Fri Jul  8 20:07 , 'tanis cuff' <tanistanis at hotmail.com> sent:

>Mostly great posting, H.B.  Thanks.
>Except the part about seeds not held to much regulation.  Anyone interested 
>in selling seeds of any kind, in any worthwhile amount, you definitely want 
>to read the Federal Seed Act and your state seed law.  Might save you the 
>cost of some fines.  (And you might aslo be encouraged that gee the seed 
>industry DOES have to toe-the-line!)
>----Original Message Follows----
>From: Heron Breen
>To: North American Fruit Explorers
>Subject: Re: [NAFEX] permit to sell seeds
>Date: Fri, 08 Jul 2005 20:37:04 -0500
>My response is that it is entirely illegal, and is just asking to be 
>...There are related rules that involve seeds in a certain state having to 
>adhere to a
>standard of quality/germination, but federal standards are generally used as 
>lines for interstate seed sales....
>?? ** "...Seeds are not held to much regulation besides their germination 
>and species (which
>ones allowed in which states)...."  ** ??
>nafex mailing list 
>nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
>All other messages are discarded.
>No exceptions.  
>To subscribe or unsubscribe, go to the bottom of this page (also can be used to 
change other email options):
>File attachments are NOT stripped by this list
>Please do not send binary files.
>Use plain text ONLY in emails!
>Message archives are here:
>NAFEX web site:   http://www.nafex.org/

More information about the nafex mailing list