The number of seed inspections increased


<div>The number of seed inspections based on the Seed Trade Act increased in 2007. A total of 265 market inspections were carried out, while there were 191 inspections the year before. The inspections were aimed at seed suppliers, seed packaging establishments, trade in the market squares and growers. Based on risk assessment the number of samples taken from old seed lots and inspections of the bookkeeping were increased especially, which is reflected in the increased number of inspections.</div>

Areas of focus in Evira’s market monitoring of the seed trade in 2007 were the sale of uncertified seed and monitoring of rejected seed cultivations, the monitoring of the breaches from 2005 – 2006 and the inspection of the bookkeeping by the businesses in the register of businesses involved in the seed industry.

The labelling, guarantee certificates and certification of seed lots on the market were inspected during seed inspections of seed suppliers, packaging establishments and stalls at market squares. In addition, the businesses’ bookkeeping and files on the seed lots for sale were inspected. The marketing was also monitored by following advertisements in the papers and internet marketing. Also information and pointers received were examined. Remarks were issued mainly on the marketing of uncertified seed via the printed media. Marketing bans were issued mainly on the sale of uncertified seed and on the marketing of seed rejected by the field inspections.

Germination and uniformity were examined in old seed lots

It has not been necessary to report the period of validity of the germination of seed lots based on the national legislation since 1.7.2003. Based on the risk assessment the number of control samples taken of old seed lots for sale was increased. Germination was checked for in 68 lots that were packaged in 2004 – 2005. Out of the samples inspected 21 lots were not within the limits set by the International Seed Testing Association, ISTA. A new official germination test was recommended for them. Nine seed lots were given a marketing ban, as the germination of the seed lots did not fulfil the minimum requirements set for the species in question. Based on the results it can be noted that Evira will continue to take control samples in order to ensure the germination of the seed lots.

By monitoring the uniformity of the packaged sale lots it is being clarified whether there are seeds of the same quality in all of the packages. A total of 447 samples were taken from 25 lots in 12 packaging establishments. In these inspections only two lots were found that did not fulfil the quality criteria set by ISTA as to uniformity. The uniformity of the lots has improved compared to previous years and more attention has been given to the issue in the packaging establishments.

Packaging of seeds is subject to licensing

The packaging licensing system came into force with its transitional provisions in 2002. The licence is in force for a maximum of five years, and a great number of the licences for the packaging establishments expired during 2007. Acquiring a licence requires for example an inspection of the premises by the authorities. The areas for improvement observed during the inspections of the packaging establishments must be corrected before the issuing of a new licence for the packaging establishment. A total of 126 seed packaging establishments were inspected. Some of the most common deficiencies in 2007 were the calibrations of the scales, lack of mixing equipment and deficiencies in the filing system.

For additional information, please contact:
Senior Officer Ritva Vallivaara-Pasto, Evira, tel. +358 20 77 25320
Senior Officer Kristiina Sulkonen, Evira, tel. +358 20 77 25327
Inspector Mika Kivistö, Evira, tel. +358 20 77 25321

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