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Subject 40-12-5 LABELING REQUIREMENTS

Rule 40-12-5-.01 Label Format

Analysis tags or labels shall substantially comply with the following formats, according to the kind being marketed.

(a) Agricultural Seed Label Format.


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Rule 40-12-5-.02 Label Specifications

(1) Requirements for Labeling Tags and Records.
(a) Abbreviations in labeling are not permitted.
(b) All information required on the analysis tag shall be placed on one side of the label and no other information shall be placed on the tag with the analysis.
(c) All information required on the analysis tag shall be truthful and not misleading or illegible.
(d) A complete analysis shall be given on labeling tags and the purity component percentages must total one hundred (100) percent. Blank spaces or incomplete analyses are not permitted. Either numerals or the word "none" shall be used to express a percentage or number per pound.
(e) All invoices and records pertaining to the shipment or sale of seed shall show each lot number.
(2) Descriptive Information.
(a) Descriptive information that may be misleading when associated with the variety and kind names on the label shall be separated from the latter by placing in parentheses. Terms descriptive as to color, shape, size, habit of growth, disease-resistance, or other characteristics of the kind or variety may be associated with the name of the kind or variety provided it is done in a manner which clearly indicates the descriptive term is not a part of the name of the kind or variety; for example, Oshkosh pepper (yellow), Copenhagen Market (round head) cabbage, and Kentucky Wonder (pole) garden bean.
(b) Terms descriptive of the manner or method of production or processing the seed (for example, certified, registered, delinted, scarified, treated, and hulled), may be associated with the name of the kind or variety of seed, providing such terms are not misleading.
(c) The place of origin shall not be used in connection with the variety or kind names, unless it is a part of the generally recognized name of variety or kind.
(3) Hybrid Seed. Seed shall not be designated in labeling as "hybrid" seed unless it comes within the definition of "hybrid" in Code section 2-11-21.
(4) Brand Names.
(a) Brand names and terms taken from trademarks may be associated with the name of the kind or variety of seed as an indication of source: Provided, that the terms are clearly identified as being other than a part of the name of the kind or variety; for example, Ox Brand Golden Cross sweet corn.
(b) Seed shall not be advertised under a trademark or brand name in any manner that may create the impression that the trademark or brand name is a variety name.
(c) If seed advertised under a trademark or brand name is a mixture of varieties and if the variety names are not stated in the advertising, a description similar to a varietal description or a comparison with a named variety shall not be used if it creates the impression that the seed is of a single variety.
(5) Origin.
(a) 'Origin' or 'where grown' shall be shown on the label for agricultural seed. Whenever such seed originates in more than one state, the name of each state shall be shown on the label.
(b) In the case of an agricultural seed mixture, a single origin may be shown on the label if it applies to all pure seed components in the mixture, but if the pure seed components of the mixture originate from different states, origin shall be stated separately for each such component.
(6) Lawn and Turf Seed Mixtures.
(a) Pursuant to Code section 2-11-22, seed mixtures intended for lawn and turf purposes shall be designated as 'mixed' or 'mixture' on the label.
(b) Seed mixture components as illustrated in Rule section 40-12-5-.01(b) must be labeled in columnar form and in order of predominance to show the commonly accepted name of kind, variety, origin and percentage by weight of each in excess of 5 percent of the whole.
(7) Open Containers of Seed.
(a) Open containers of agricultural seed or of more than one pound of vegetable seed shall be deemed to have met labeling requirements if the seed is weighed from a properly labeled container in the presence of the purchaser.
(b) If the seed is treated with a pesticide, an appropriate treatment label pursuant to Code section 2-11-22 shall be displayed on the open container and a copy of the treatment labeling shall be provided with all seed sold from that container.
(8) Colorant Dyeing of Treated Seed. All seed bearing a seed treatment in excess of a recognized tolerance or for which no tolerance or exemption from tolerance is recognized by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act shall be denatured by a suitable colorant dye to impart an unnatural color to the seed to prevent their subsequent use as food for man or animal.
(9) Use of Disclaimers. A disclaimer, nonwarranty, or limited warranty used in any invoice or other labeling, or advertisement shall not directly or indirectly deny or modify any information required by the Georgia Seed Law, Rules and Regulations.
(10) Mixed Cowpeas. Cowpeas (a.k.a. southernpeas) consisting of mixed varieties may be sold by labeling them as "mixed cowpeas" or "mixed southernpeas." The percentage of pure seed shall represent all cowpeas and a germination test shall be based on a uniform sample of all varieties in the seed lot. Cowpeas shall be labeled "mixed" when they contain more than one other variety or a combination of other varieties in excess of five (5) percent by weight.
(11) Soybean Lots Containing Cowpeas. Soybean seed lots containing cowpeas or southernpeas are prohibited from being sold, offered for sale, exposed for sale or transported within this state.
(12) Labeling Hard Seed or Dormant Seed. Pursuant to Code section 2-11-22, when hard seed or dormant seed occurs in a seed lot, the label shall show the percentage of such in addition to the percent germination. Following this information, the 'total germination and hard seed' or 'total germination and dormant seed' may be stated as such, if desired.
(13) Relabeling Expired Tags. Relabeling expired tags by obtaining a new germination test and subsequently updating or replacing the old tag is the responsibility of the dealer on whose premises the seed are located. The following information shall appear on a label for relabeling seeds in their original containers:
(a) The calendar month and year the germination test was completed to determine such percentage.
(b) For those seed kinds requiring percent germination to be shown, the percent germination plus hard or dormant seed, as reported for the new germination test.
(c) The same lot designation as on the original labels.
(d) The identity of the labeling person if different from the original labeler.

Rule 40-12-5-.03 Seed in Hermetically Sealed Containers

(1) Agricultural or vegetable seeds packaged in hermetically sealed containers may be sold, exposed for sale, or offered for sale or transportation for a period of 24 months after the last day of the month that the seeds were tested for germination prior to packaging. If seeds in hermetically sealed containers are sold, exposed for sale, or offered for sale or transportation more than 24 months after the last day of the month in which they were tested prior to packaging, they must have been retested within a nine (9) month period, exclusive of the calendar month in which the retest was completed, immediately prior to sale, exposure for sale, or offering for sale or transportation.
(2) The following standards, requirements and conditions must be met before seed is considered to be hermetically sealed under the provisions of this Act.
(a) The seed was packaged within 9 months after harvest.
(b) The container used does not allow water vapor penetration through any wall, including the seals, greater than 0.05 grams of water per 24 hours per 100 square inches of surface at 100° F. with a relative humidity on one side of 90 percent and on the other side 0 percent. Water vapor penetration or WVP is measured by the standards of the U.S. Bureau of Standards as: gm.H20/24 hr./100 sq. in./100°F./90% RH v.0% RH.
(c) The seed in the container shall not exceed the percent moisture, on a wet weight basis, as listed below:


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(d) The container is conspicuously labeled in not less than 8-point type to indicate:
1. That the container is hermetically sealed;
2. That the seed has been preconditioned as to moisture content; and
3. The calendar month and year in which the germination test was completed.
(e) The percentage of seed germination at the time of packaging was equal to or above the standards specified elsewhere in this Act.

Rule 40-12-5-.04 Labeling Kind and Variety or Type and Performance Characteristics of Flower Seeds

The requirements of Code section 2-11-22(i) of the Georgia Seed Law stating that flower seeds shall be labeled with, "the name of the kind and variety or a statement of type and performance characteristics as prescribed in the rules and regulations promulgated under the provisions of this Act," shall be met as follows:

(a) For seeds of plants grown primarily for their blooms:
1. If the seeds are of a single named variety, the kind and variety shall be stated, for example, "Marigold, Butterball."
2. If the seeds are of a single type and color for which there is no specific variety name, the type of plant (if significant), and the type and color of bloom shall be indicated, for example, "Scabiosa, Tall, Large Flowered, Double, Pink."
3. If the seeds consist of an assortment or mixture of colors or varieties of a single kind, the kind name, the type of plant (if significant) and the type or types of bloom shall be indicated. In addition, it shall be clearly indicated that the seed is mixed or assorted. An example of labeling such a mixture or assortment is "Marigold, Dwarf Double French, Mixed Colors."
4. If the seeds consist of an assortment or mixture of kinds or kinds and varieties, it shall be clearly indicated that the seed is assorted or mixed and the specific use of the assortment or mixture shall be indicated, for example "Cut Flower Mixture," or "Rock Garden Mixture." Such statements as "General Purpose Mixture," "Wonder Mixture," or any other statement which fails to indicate the specific use of the seed shall not be considered as meeting the requirements of this provision unless the specific use of the mixture is also stated. Containers with over 3 grams of seed shall list the kind or kind and variety names of each component present in excess of 5.0% of the whole in the order of their predominance giving the percentage by weight of each. Components of 5.0% or less shall be listed but need not be in order of predominance. A single percentage by weight shall be given for these components. If no component of a mixture exceeds 5% of the whole, the statement "No component in excess of 5%" may be used. Containers with 3 grams of seed or less shall list the components without giving percentage by weight and need not be in order of predominance.
(b) For seeds of plants grown for ornamental purposes other than their blooms, the kind and variety shall be stated, or the kind shall be stated together with a descriptive statement concerning the ornamental part of the plant, for example, "Ornamental Gourds, Small Fruited, Mixed."

Rule 40-12-5-.05 Requirements for Non-Commercial Seed Sharing

(a) Each container of agricultural, vegetable, and flower seeds distributed for sowing purposes in a non-commercial setting shall bear thereon or have attached thereto in a conspicuous place a plainly written or printed label or tag in the English language, conveying the following information:
(1) The name of the species or commonly accepted name of kind or kind and variety of each agricultural seed component present. Hybrids shall be labeled as hybrids;
(2) A word or statement indicating if the seed has been treated. And, if treated, must be labeled in accordance with applicable state and federal laws;
(3) Some form of reference identification that provides traceability. Retention of posterity file samples is not required;
(4) Name and city or address of the non-commercial seed sharing entity; and
(5) The calendar month and year the seed was donated.
(b) The seed shall be free of foreign material, other than coatings or treatments, including germination medium, mulch, fertilizer, pre-planted containers, mats, tapes, or other planting devices.
(c) No distributed container shall hold more than eight (8) ounces of agricultural seed or four (4) ounces of vegetable or flower seed.
(d) Germination and purity analysis is not required, however if a germination or purity percentage is noted on the label, it must be noted whether or not the analysis was performed according to the AOSA rules for testing seed.
(e) At each location involved with non-commercial seed sharing a legible and visible sign shall state that the seeds being distributed may not meet germination or varietal purity standards prescribed by the state seed law. The sign must also state that patented seed or varieties protected by the Plant Variety Protection Act will not be accepted or distributed without permission of the certificate holder.