Enacted in 1939, the Federal Seed Act requires accurate labeling and purity standards for seeds in commerce, and prohibits the importation and movement of adulterated or misbranded seeds. The law (P.L. 76-354) works in conjunction with the Plant Protection Act of 2000 to authorize the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to regulate the importation of field crop, pasture and forage, or vegetable seed that may contain noxious weed seeds. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service is responsible for enforcing the labeling and purity standard provisions
Enacted in 1970 and amended in 1994 to include potatoes and other tuber crops, the Plant Variety Protection Act (PVP) is a voluntary program that provides patent-like rights to breeders, developers and owners of plant varieties. The PVP gives breeders up to 25 years of exclusive control over new, distinct, uniform, and stable sexually reproduced or tuber propagated plant varieties.