State of the States

  • On May 30, 2019

Vermont Seed Trait Approvals: On May 22, the Vermont legislature sent a bill to the Governor’s desk that creates a Seed Trait Acceptance Committee. Prior to sale, distribution, or use of a new genetically engineered seed in the State and after consultation with the seed review committee, the Vermont Secretary of Agriculture may prohibit, restrict, condition, or limit the sale, distribution, or use of the seed in the State when determined necessary to prevent an adverse effect on agriculture in the State. Thus, any seeds with new GE traits will have to be approved prior to being offered for sale in the state. The committee members will include: a farmer, seed dealer, licensed applicator and the State Secretary of Agriculture. If signed by the Governor, Vermont would be the only state to require additional approval of seed technology over and above the federal process.

Wisconsin Invasive Species Rule: Wisconsin has created an Agronomic Species Assessment Group (ASAG) within its Department of Natural Resources. The purpose of the ASAG is to review species being proposed for addition to the state’s invasive species list (under rule, NR40). NR40 makes it illegal in Wisconsin to possess, transport, transfer, or introduce certain invasive species, including their seed, without a permit. Because these species are considered invasive with noxious issues, they would be regulated as such. This rule adds a new level of complexity for the seed industry. The ASTA Noxious Weed Seed Working Group has been asked to comment directly to the agency. Please forward any questions or comments before June 1 to .

Texas Crop Improvement Program Bill Stalls: This legislation would have moved the responsibilities of the state crop improvement program from the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) to an independent agency, but Texas HB 2166 missed the deadline to become a law. The bill, passed by the House, was stranded in the Senate Ag Committee. TDA’s responsibilities and programs will come under review by the Texas Sunset Commission beginning in June, as part of a regularly scheduled program for all state agencies.