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AB-2470 California Seed Law. (2013-2014)

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AB2470:v96#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 2470
CHAPTER 294

An act to amend Sections 52256.5, 52288, 52332, and 52452 of, and to add Section 52334 to, the Food and Agricultural Code, relating to seed.

[ Approved by Governor  August 25, 2014. Filed with Secretary of State  August 25, 2014. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2470, Salas. California Seed Law.
Existing law, the California Seed Law, regulates seed sold in California, and requires each container of agricultural seed that is for sale or sold within this state for sowing purposes to be labeled, as specified, unless the sale is an occasional sale of seed grain by the producer of the seed grain to his neighbor for use by the purchaser within the county of production. Existing law defines “person” for purposes of the California Seed Law to mean an individual, partnership, trust association, cooperative association, or any other business unit or organization.
This bill would clarify that definition of “person” to include corporations. The bill would also clarify the term “neighbor” for purposes of the labeling requirements specified above to mean a person who lives in close proximity, not to exceed 3 miles, to another. The bill would revise a statement of legislative intent to include ensuring that the amount of seed represented on a tag or label is properly identified.
Existing law authorizes the Secretary of Food and Agriculture, by regulation, to adopt a list of plants and crops that the secretary finds are or may be grown in this state from agricultural or vegetable seed.
This bill would instead authorize the secretary, by regulation, to adopt a list of plants and crops that the secretary finds are or may be grown in this state. The bill would also prohibit a city, county, or district, including a charter city or county, from adopting or enforcing an ordinance on or after January 1, 2015, that regulates plants, crops, or seeds without the consent of the secretary. The bill would make other nonsubstantive changes.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 52256.5 of the Food and Agricultural Code is amended to read:

52256.5.
 “Person” also means any individual, partnership, corporation, trust association, cooperative association, or any other business unit or organization.

SEC. 2.

 Section 52288 of the Food and Agricultural Code is amended to read:

52288.
 The Legislature hereby declares that it is the intent of this chapter to enable the seed industry, with the aid of the state, to ensure that seed purchased by the consumer-buyer is properly identified and of the quality and amount represented on the tag or label. The Legislature further declares that the success of agriculture and the seed industry in this state depends upon the continued commitment to industry-funded research in order to improve the quality and variety of seed available to the consumer-buyer.

SEC. 3.

 Section 52332 of the Food and Agricultural Code is amended to read:

52332.
 The secretary, by regulation, may adopt all of the following:
(a) A list of the plants and crops that the secretary finds are or may be grown in this state.
(b) A list of the plants and crops that the secretary finds are detrimental to agriculture if they occur incidentally in other crops, and which, therefore, are classed as weed seed except if sold alone or as a specific constituent of a definite seed mixture.
(c) A list of noxious weed seed that the secretary finds are prohibited noxious weed seed, as defined in this chapter.
(d) A list of those noxious weed seed that are not classified as prohibited noxious weed seed and are classified by this chapter as restricted noxious weed seed.
(e) A list of substances that are likely to be used for treating grain or other crop seed that the secretary finds and determines are toxic to human beings or animals if used, and an appropriate warning or caution statement for each substance.
(f) (1) Establish methods and procedures, upon the recommendation of the board, for the conciliation, mediation, or arbitration of disputes between labelers and any persons concerning conformance with label statements, advertisements, or other disputes regarding the quality or performance of seed. The methods and procedures shall be a mandatory prerequisite to pursuing other dispute resolution mechanisms, including, but not limited to, litigation. However, if conciliation, mediation, or arbitration proceedings are commenced under this section to resolve a controversy, the statute of limitations that applies to a civil action concerning that controversy is tolled upon commencement of conciliation, mediation, or arbitration proceedings, and until 30 days after the completion of those proceedings. As used in this subdivision, “completion of those proceedings” means the filing of a statement of agreement or nonagreement by the conciliator or mediator, or the rendering of a decision by an arbitrator or arbitration committee.
(2) Conciliation, mediation, or arbitration shall not affect any enforcement action by the secretary pursuant to this chapter. Regulations adopted by the secretary for the mandatory conciliation, mediation, or arbitration of disputes shall require that adequate notice be provided on the seed label notifying any buyer of the requirement to submit a dispute to mandatory conciliation, mediation, or arbitration as a prerequisite to other dispute resolution mechanisms, including litigation.
(g) Establish additional labeling requirements for coated, pelleted, encapsulated, mat, tape, or any other germination medium or device used on seed in order that the purchaser or consumer will be informed as to the actual amount of seed purchased.

SEC. 4.

 Section 52334 is added to the Food and Agricultural Code, to read:

52334.
 Notwithstanding any other law, on and after January 1, 2015, a city, county, or district, including a charter city or county, shall not adopt or enforce an ordinance that regulates plants, crops, or seeds without the consent of the secretary. An ordinance enacted before January 1, 2015, shall be considered part of the comprehensive program of the department and shall be enforceable.

SEC. 5.

 Section 52452 of the Food and Agricultural Code is amended to read:

52452.
  (a)  Except as otherwise provided in Section 52454, each container of agricultural seed that is for sale or sold within this state for sowing purposes, unless the sale is an occasional sale of seed grain by the producer of the seed grain to his or her neighbor for use by the purchaser within the county of production, shall bear upon it or have attached to it in a conspicuous place a plainly written or printed label or tag in the English language that includes all of the following information:
(1) The commonly accepted name of the kind, kind and variety, or kind and type of each agricultural seed component in excess of 5 percent of the whole, and the percentage by weight of each. If the aggregate of agricultural seed components, each present in an amount not exceeding 5 percent of the whole, exceeds 10 percent of the whole, each component in excess of 1 percent of the whole shall be named together with the percentage by weight of each. If more than one component is required to be named, the names of all components shall be shown in letters of the same type and size.
(2) The lot number or other lot identification.
(3) The percentage by weight of all weed seeds.
(4) The name and approximate number of each kind of restricted noxious weed seed per pound.
(5) The percentage by weight of any agricultural seed except that which is required to be named on the label.
(6) The percentage by weight of inert matter. If a percentage by weight is required to be shown by any provision of this section, that percentage shall be exclusive of any substance that is added to the seed as a coating and shown on the label as such.
(7) For each agricultural seed in excess of 5 percent of the whole, stated in accordance with paragraph (1), the percentage of germination exclusive of hard seed, the percentage of hard seed, if present, and the calendar month and year the test was completed to determine the percentages. Following the statement of those percentages, the additional statement “total germination and hard seed” may be stated.
(8) The name and address of the person who labeled the seed or of the person who sells the seed within this state.
(b) All determinations of noxious weed seeds are subject to tolerances and methods of determination prescribed in the regulations that are adopted pursuant to this chapter.
(c) For purposes of this section, “neighbor” means a person who lives in close proximity, not to exceed three miles, to another.