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21.85 Commissioner's powers and duties.

Subdivision 1. Enforcement. The commissioner shall administer and enforce sections 21.80 to 21.92.

Subd. 2. Seed laboratory. The commissioner shall establish and maintain a seed laboratory for seed testing, employing necessary agents and assistants to administer and enforce sections 21.80 to 21.92, who shall be governed by chapter 43A.

Subd. 3. Entry upon premises. For the purpose of administering and enforcing sections 21.80 to 21.92 the commissioner may enter upon any public or private premises during regular business hours in order to have access to seeds and the records concerning the seeds that are subject to sections 21.80 to 21.92, and to enter any truck or other conveyor by land, water, or air at any time when the conveyor is accessible, for the same purpose.

Subd. 4. Inspection and sampling. The commissioner shall sample, inspect, make analysis of and test seeds subject to sections 21.80 to 21.92 that are offered for sale for sowing purposes at the time and place and to the extent necessary to determine whether the seeds are in compliance with sections 21.80 to 21.92.

Subd. 5. Notice of violation. The commissioner shall promptly notify the person who sold, labeled, or transported seed that has been:

(1) found to be in violation of sections 21.80 to 21.92;

(2) placed under a stop sale order; or

(3) seized on complaint of the commissioner to a court of competent jurisdiction.

Subd. 6. Stop sale orders. The commissioner may issue and enforce a written or printed "stop sale" order to the owner or custodian of any lot of seed which the commissioner finds to be in violation of sections 21.80 to 21.92. The order shall prohibit further sale, conditioning, and movement of the seed, except on approval of the enforcing officer, until the officer has evidence that the law has been complied with and has issued a release from the "stop sale" order. With respect to seed which has been denied sale, conditioning, or movement, the owner or custodian of the seed may appeal from the order to a court where the seeds are found, for the discharge of the seeds from the order prohibiting the sale, conditioning, or movement in accordance with the findings of the court. This subdivision does not limit the right of the enforcement officer to proceed in a different fashion.

Subd. 7. Seizure. Any lot of seed not in compliance with sections 21.80 to 21.92 is subject to seizure on complaint of the commissioner to a court of competent jurisdiction in the locality where the seed is located. If the court finds the seed to be in violation and orders the condemnation of the seed, it shall be denatured, destroyed, relabeled, or otherwise disposed of in compliance with law. In no instance shall the court order dispose of the seed without first giving the claimant an opportunity to apply to the court for the release of the seed or permission to condition or relabel it into compliance.

Subd. 8. Injunction. When the commissioner applies to any court for a temporary or permanent injunction restraining any person from violating or continuing to violate sections 21.80 to 21.92, the injunction shall be issued without requiring a bond.

Subd. 9. Prosecutions. The commissioner, on finding that a person has violated any part of sections 21.80 to 21.92, may initiate court proceedings in the locality in which the violation occurred. No prosecution shall be instituted without a person having an opportunity to appear in person or by a representative before the commissioner to provide evidence. Either a county attorney or the attorney general may prosecute actions under sections 21.80 to 21.92.

Subd. 10. Commissioner may alter requirements in emergencies. In the event of acute shortages of any seed or seeds, or the occurrence of other conditions which in the opinion of the commissioner create an emergency which would make impractical the enforcement of any requirement of sections 21.80 to 21.92 relating to the percentage of purity, weed seed content, and the variety name of any seed or seeds, the commissioner may temporarily change and alter any requirement relating to percentage of purity, weed seed content, and the variety name for the duration of the emergency.

Subd. 11. Rules. The commissioner may make necessary rules for the proper enforcement of sections 21.80 to 21.92. Existing rules shall remain in effect unless permanent rules are made that supersede them.

Subd. 12. Service testing and identification. The commissioner shall provide for purity and germination tests of seeds and identification of seeds and plants for farmers, dealers, and others, and shall establish schedules to recover the cost of services provided. Money collected must be deposited in the laboratory services account in the agricultural fund.

Subd. 13. Sampling export seed. The commissioner may sample agricultural, vegetable, flower, tree or shrub seeds which are destined for export to other countries, and may establish and collect suitable fees from the exporter for this service.

Subd. 14. Cooperation with United States Department of Agriculture. The commissioner shall cooperate with the United States Department of Agriculture in Seed Law enforcement.

HIST: 1983 c 293 s 44; 1984 c 640 s 32; 1986 c 444; 1992 c 567 art 3 s 2; 1993 c 367 s 25; 1995 c 233 art 2 s 56; 1Sp2001 c 2 s 41

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes