WASHINGTON, D.C. - USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced a public hearing to discuss proposed revisions to the Federal Seed Act (FSA) regulations. These updates are periodically needed in order to maintain consistency with other federal and state agencies, as well as changes in industry practice.

"The harmonizing of state and federal testing procedures ultimately reduces the burden on small companies shipping seed in interstate commerce by allowing the same test to meet regulatory requirements for inter- and intra-state shipments," said Dr. Richard Payne, AMS Seed Regulatory and Testing Branch Chief.

The proposed changes would amend the list of prohibited noxious-weed seeds to reflect recent additions and deletion of species listed in the Federal Noxious Weed Act; update the seed labeling regulations; update the seed testing regulations; update the noxious-weed seed tolerances; update seed certification regulations; and correct several minor errors, including updating the nomenclature of kinds regulated under the FSA. The proposed rule was published in the Dec. 17, 2010, Federal Register.

A public hearing will be held on Jan. 21, 2011, at 10 a.m. in Room 68 at the Seed Regulatory and Testing Branch, Livestock and Seed program, AMS, USDA, 801 Summit Crossing Place, Suite C, Gastonia, North Carolina 28054-2193. Interested parties will be allowed to present views concerning the proposal.

For more information contact Dr. Richard C. Payne, Chief, Seed Regulatory and Testing Branch, Livestock and Seed Program, AMS, at the address above; telephone (704) 810-8884; fax (704) 852-4109; or richard.payne@ams.usda.gov.

SOURCE: USDA - Agricultural Marketing Service