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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21

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The information on this page is current as of Nov 29, 2022.

For the most up-to-date version of CFR Title 21, go to the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (eCFR).

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Help | More About 21CFR
[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 21, Volume 1]
[CITE: 21CFR2.25]



Subpart B - Human and Animal Foods

Sec. 2.25 Grain seed treated with poisonous substances; color identification to prevent adulteration of human and animal food.

(a) In recent years there has developed increasing use of poisonous treatments on seed for fungicidal and other purposes. Such treated seed, if consumed, presents a hazard to humans and livestock. It is not unusual for stocks of such treated food seeds to remain on hand after the planting season has passed. Despite the cautions required by the Federal Seed Act (53 Stat. 1275, as amended 72 Stat. 476, 7 U.S.C. 1551 et seq. ) in the labeling of the treated seed, the Food and Drug Administration has encountered many cases where such surplus stocks of treated wheat, corn, oats, rye, barley, and sorghum seed had been mixed with untreated seed and sent to market for food or feed use. This has resulted in livestock injury and in legal actions under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act against large quantities of food adulterated through such admixture of poisonous treated seeds with good food. Criminal cases were brought against some firms and individuals. Where the treated seeds are prominently colored, buyers and users or processors of agricultural food seed for food purposes are able to detect the admixture of the poisonous seed and thus reject the lots; but most such buyers, users, and processors do not have the facilities or scientific equipment to determine the presence of the poisonous chemical at the time crops are delivered, in cases where the treated seeds have not been so colored. A suitable color for this use is one that is in sufficient contrast to the natural color of the food seed as to make admixture of treated, denatured seeds with good food easily apparent, and is so applied that it is not readily removed.

(b) On and after December 31, 1964, the Food and Drug Administration will regard as adulterated any interstate shipment of the food seeds wheat, corn, oats, rye, barley, and sorghum bearing a poisonous treatment in excess of a recognized tolerance or treatment for which no tolerance or exemption from tolerance is recognized in regulations promulgated pursuant to section 408 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, unless such seeds have been adequately denatured by a suitable color to prevent their subsequent inadvertent use as food for man or feed for animals.

(c) Attention is called to the labeling requirements of the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, where applicable to denatured seeds in packages suitable for household use.