Sale of seeds; percentage of germination; labeling; false advertisements; noxious weed seeds
Section 90. No person shall sell, offer for sale or expose for sale any agricultural, vegetable, flower or tree and shrub seed within the commonwealth unless the test to determine the percentage of germination required by sections eighty-six to eighty-nine, inclusive was completed within a nine-month period, exclusive of the calendar month in which the test was completed, immediately prior to sale, exposure for sale or offering for sale or transportation. The records of such tests shall be available to the commissioner or his duly authorized assistants for a period of at least one year from date of test. The director may by rules and regulations designate a shorter period for kinds of seed which he finds under ordinary conditions of handling will not maintain during the aforesaid nine-month period, a germination within the established limits of tolerance, or a longer period for any kind of seed which is packaged in such container materials and under conditions such as provided for by hermetically sealed containers, prescribed by the director as he finds will, during such longer period, maintain the viability of said seed under ordinary conditions of handling.
Neither shall seed be sold which is not labeled in accordance with the provisions of sections eighty-four to one hundred and one, inclusive; nor which bears false or misleading labeling; nor pertaining to which there has been a false or misleading advertisement; nor consisting of or containing, “Prohibited noxious weed seeds” nor consisting of or containing “Restricted noxious weed seeds” at a rate per pound in excess of the number declared on the label attached to the container of the seed or associated with the seed, subject to tolerances; nor containing more than one per cent of all weed seeds; nor labeled to use the word “trace” as a substitute for any statement as to quality or percentage which is required; nor shall seed be sold which is so weak or low in germination according to standards adopted by rules and regulations prescribed by the director under the provisions of section ninety-eight as to be unfit for seeding purposes; nor which is represented to be “certified seed”, “registered seed” or “foundation seed” or designated by any other term conveying similar meanings, unless such seed has been produced, processed and labeled in accordance with the procedures and in compliance with the rules and regulations of an officially recognized certification agency or agencies and bears an official tag or label of such an agency, or which is represented as hybrid seed unless such seed conforms to the definition of hybrid in section eighty-four, except that this provision shall not apply to variety names in common trade usage.