(via Post Carbon Institute: “Just How ‘Legal’ Are Seed Libraries?,”)
Adapted from Growing Food in the Southwest Mountains: A guide to high-altitude, semi-arid home permaculture gardens:
Federal government cracks down on volunteer seed libraries
Utter ridiculousness from the U.S. government, but something to be aware of if you help run a seed library or are thinking about starting one. It’s too bad this is going to have to be mediated through court cases.
"After the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture cracked down on a community seed library, hundreds of seed libraries in the U.S. are suddenly wondering if they are breaking the law. According to PA regulators, in order to give out member-donated seeds, the Simpson Seed Library in Cumberland County would have to put around 400 seeds of each variety through prohibitively impractical seed testing procedures in order to determine quality, rate of germinability, and so on. The result of the PA crackdown is that the library can no longer give out seeds other than those which are commercially packaged.”
"In some states, the licensing, labeling, and testing laws only apply if you sell seed. In other states, such as California, the laws apply if you even offer seeds for barter, exchange, or trade. How do you define words like sell, barter, exchange, and trade? And how do they apply to seed libraries? Read on if you are ready to venture into interesting legal grey areas.”
Why? Because terrorism.