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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 905         FILED ON: 1/19/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 261

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Ellen Story

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To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act relative to the labeling of seed.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Ellen Story

3rd Hampshire


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 905        FILED ON: 1/19/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 261

By Ms. Story of Amherst, petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 261) of Ellen Story relative to the labeling of plant seeds. Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture.

 

[SIMILAR MATTER FILED IN PREVIOUS SESSION
SEE HOUSE, NO. 842 OF 2009-2010.]


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Eleven

_______________

 

An Act relative to the labeling of seed.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              SECTION 1. Section 84 of Chapter 128 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the definition of “Flower seeds” the following definitions:-

              “Genetically engineered seed” shall mean any agricultural, flower, tree and shrub, vegetable or weed seed produced using a variety of methods, as identified by the national organic program of the U.S. department of agriculture, used to modify genetically organisms or influence their growth and development by means that are not possible under natural conditions or processes.  Such methods include cell fusion, microencapsulation and macroencapsulation, and recombinant DNA technology (including gene deletion, gene doubling, introducing a foreign gene, and changing the positions of genes when achieved by recombinant DNA technology).  Such methods do not include the use of traditional breeding, conjugation, fermentation, hybridization, in vitro fertilization, or tissue culture.

              “Genetically engineered plant part” shall mean a whole plant or plant part, including scions intended for planting, which contains material derived from a genetically engineered seed or is itself produced using the methods described in the definition of genetically engineered seed.

              SECTION 2.  Said Chapter 128 is hereby amended by adding after section 89 the following new section:-

              Section 89A.  Genetically engineered seeds; labeling or tagging containers

              Each container of genetically engineered seed distributed, offered for sale or exposed for sale within the commonwealth shall bear the identity of such seed, relevant traits or characteristics of the seed that cause it to be defined as genetically engineered, plus any legal requirements or recommended precautions for their safe handling, storage, transport, and use, the contact point for further information and, as appropriate, the name and address of the manufacturer, distributor, or supplier of such seed.

              The commissioner shall promulgate regulations requiring the annual reporting by manufacturers or processors of all genetically engineered seed and genetically engineered plant parts distributed, sold or exposed for sale within the commonwealth, as to the nature of sales of genetically engineered seed and genetically engineered plant products during the previous calendar year.

              SECTION 3.  Section 93 of Said Chapter 128 is hereby amended in line 3 by striking out the words “flower or tree and shrub”, and inserting in place thereof the following words:-

              “flower, tree and shrub or genetically engineered”

              SECTION 4. Said Section 93 is hereby further amended in line 11 by striking out the words “flower and tree or shrub”, and inserting in place thereof the following words:-

              “flower, tree and shrub or genetically engineered”

              SECTION 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2013.

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