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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title XXXV
Chapter 578
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F.S. 578.27
578.27 Seed investigation and conciliation council; composition; purpose; meetings; duties; expenses.
(1) The Commissioner of Agriculture shall appoint a seed investigation and conciliation council composed of seven members, one member to be appointed upon the recommendation of each of the following: the deans of extension and research, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida; the president of the Florida Seed Association; the president of the Florida Farm Bureau Federation; and the president of the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association. The Commissioner of Agriculture shall appoint a representative from the agriculture industry at large and from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Each member shall be appointed for a term of 4 years or less and shall serve until his or her successor is appointed. A vacancy shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment. The council shall annually elect a chair from its membership. It shall be the duty of the chair to conduct all meetings and deliberations held by the council and to direct all other activities of the council. The department representative shall serve as secretary of the council. It shall be the duty of the secretary to keep accurate and correct records on all meetings and deliberations and perform other duties for the council as directed by the chair.
(2) The purpose of the seed investigation and conciliation council is to assist buyers and seed dealers in determining the validity of seed complaints made by buyers against dealers and recommend a settlement, when appropriate, resulting from the alleged failure of the seed to produce or perform as represented by the label of such seed.
(3) The seed investigation and conciliation council may be called into session by the department or upon the direction of the chair to consider matters referred to it by the department.
(4)(a) When the department refers to the seed investigation and conciliation council any complaint made by a buyer against a dealer, the council must make a full and complete investigation of the matters complained of and at the conclusion of the investigation must report its findings and make its recommendation and file same with the department.
(b) In conducting its investigation, the seed investigation and conciliation council or any representative, member, or members thereof are authorized to examine the buyer’s property, crops, plants, or trees referenced in or relating to the complaint and the dealer on her or his packaging, labeling, and selling operation of the seed alleged to be faulty; to grow to production a representative sample of the alleged faulty seed through the facilities of the state, under the supervision of the department when such action is deemed to be necessary; to hold informal hearings at a time and place directed by the department or by the chair of the council upon reasonable notice to the buyer and the dealer.
(c) Any investigation made by less than the whole membership of the council must be by authority of a written directive by the department or by the chair, and such investigation must be summarized in writing and considered by the council in reporting its findings and making its recommendation.
(5) The members of the council shall receive no compensation for the performance of their duties hereunder, but the members of the council shall be reimbursed for travel expenses as provided in s. 112.061 when they attend a meeting or perform a service in conformity with the requirements of this section.
History.s. 8, ch. 57-199; ss. 3, 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 71-1; ss. 4, 5, ch. 88-75; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 914, ch. 97-103; s. 52, ch. 2018-84.