The Secretary of Agriculture is directed and authorized:
To conduct, assist, and foster research, investigation, and experimentation to determine the best methods of processing, preparation for market, packaging, handling, transporting, storing, distributing, and marketing agricultural products: Provided, That the results of such research shall be made available to the public for the purpose of expanding the use of American agricultural products in such manner as the Secretary of Agriculture may determine.
To determine costs of marketing agricultural products in their various forms and through the various channels and to foster and assist in the development and establishment of more efficient marketing methods (including analyses of methods and proposed methods), practices, and facilities, for the purpose of bringing about more efficient and orderly marketing, and reducing the price spread between the producer and the consumer.
To develop and improve standards of quality, condition, quantity, grade, and packaging, and recommend and demonstrate such standards in order to encourage uniformity and consistency in commercial practices. Within thirty days after September 29, 1977, the Secretary shall by regulation adopt a standard of quality for ice cream which shall provide that ice cream shall contain at least 1.6 pounds of total solids to the gallon, weigh not less than 4.5 pounds to the gallon and contain not less than 20 percent total milk solids, constituted of not less than 10 percent milkfat. In no case shall the content of milk solids not fat be less than 6 percent. Whey shall not, by weight, be more than 25 percent of the milk solids not fat. Only those products which meet the standard issued by the Secretary may bear a symbol thereon indicating that they meet the Department of Agriculture standard for "ice cream".
To conduct, assist, foster, and direct studies and informational programs designed to eliminate artificial barriers to the free movement of agricultural products.
To foster and assist in the development of new or expanded markets (domestic and foreign) and new and expanded uses and in the moving of larger quantities of agricultural products through the private marketing system to consumers in the United States and abroad.
In carrying out paragraph (1), the Secretary may assess and collect reasonable fees and late payment penalties to mediate and arbitrate disputes arising between parties in connection with transactions involving agricultural products moving in foreign commerce under the jurisdiction of a multinational entity.
Fees and penalties collected under subparagraph (A) shall be deposited into the account that incurred the cost of providing the mediation or arbitration service.
Fees and penalties collected under subparagraph (A) shall be available to the Secretary without further Act of appropriation and shall remain available until expended to pay the expenses of the Secretary for providing mediation and arbitration services under this paragraph.
No person shall be required by the Secretary to use the mediation and arbitration services provided under this paragraph.
To conduct and cooperate in consumer education for the more effective utilization and greater consumption of agricultural products: Provided, That no money appropriated under the authority of this Act shall be used to pay for newspaper or periodical advertising space or radio time in carrying out the purposes of this section and subsection (e).
To collect and disseminate marketing information, including adequate outlook information on a market-area basis, for the purpose of anticipating and meeting consumer requirements, aiding in the maintenance of farm income, and bringing about a balance between production and utilization of agricultural products.
(1) To inspect, certify, and identify the class, quality, quantity, and condition of agricultural products when shipped or received in interstate commerce, under such rules and regulations as the Secretary of Agriculture may prescribe, including assessment and collection of such fees as will be reasonable and as nearly as may be to cover the cost of the service rendered, to the end that agricultural products may be marketed to the best advantage, that trading may be facilitated, and that consumers may be able to obtain the quality product which they desire, except that no person shall be required to use the service authorized by this subsection.
(2)(A) Any fees collected under this subsection, late payment penalties, the proceeds from the sales of samples, and interest earned from the investment of such funds shall be credited to the trust fund account that incurs the cost of the services provided under this subsection and shall remain available without fiscal year limitation to pay the expenses of the Secretary incident to providing such services.
(B) Such funds may be invested by the Secretary in insured or fully collateralized, interest-bearing accounts or, at the discretion of the Secretary, by the Secretary of the Treasury in United States Government debt instruments.
(3) Any official certificate issued under the authority of this subsection shall be received by all officers and all courts of the United States as prima facie evidence of the truth of the statements therein contained.
(4) Whoever knowingly shall falsely make, issue, alter, forge, or counterfeit any official certificate, memorandum, mark, or other identification, or device for making such mark or identification, with respect to inspection, class, grade, quality, size, quantity, or condition, issued or authorized under this section or knowingly cause or procure, or aid, assist in, or be a party to, such false making, issuing, altering, forging, or counterfeiting, or whoever knowingly shall possess, without promptly notifying the Secretary of Agriculture or his representative, utter, publish, or use as true, or cause to be uttered, published, or used as true, any such falsely made, altered, forged, or counterfeited official certificate, memorandum, mark, identification, or device, or whoever knowingly represents that an agricultural product has been officially inspected or graded (by an authorized inspector or grader) under the authority of this section when such commodity has in fact not been so graded or inspected shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
(5) Shell eggs packed under the voluntary grading program of the Department of Agriculture shall not have been shipped for sale previous to being packed under the program, as determined under a regulation promulgated by the Secretary.
To determine the needs and develop or assist in the development of plans for efficient facilities and methods of operating such facilities for the proper assembly, processing, transportation, storage, distribution, and handling of agricultural products.
To assist in improving transportation services and facilities and in obtaining equitable and reasonable transportation rates and services and adequate transportation facilities for agricultural products and farm supplies by making complaint or petition to the Surface Transportation Board, the Federal Maritime Commission, or other Federal or State transportation regulatory body, or the Secretary of Transportation, with respect to rates, charges, tariffs, practices, and services, or by working directly with individual carriers or groups of carriers.
To collect, tabulate, and disseminate statistics on marketing agricultural products, including, but not restricted to statistics on market supplies, storage stocks, quantity, quality, and condition of such products in various positions in the marketing channel, utilization of such products, and shipments and unloads thereof.
To develop and promulgate, for the use and at the request of any Federal agency or State, procurement standards and specifications for agricultural products, and submit such standards and specifications to such agency or State for use or adoption for procurement purposes.
To conduct, assist, encourage, and promote research, investigation, and experimentation to determine the most efficient and practical means, methods, and processes for the handling, storing, preserving, protecting, processing, and distributing of agricultural commodities to the end that such commodities may be marketed in an orderly manner and to the best interest of the producers thereof.
To establish within the Department of Agriculture a voluntary fee based grading program for—
(1) all fish of the order Siluriformes; and
(2) any additional species of farm-raised fish or farm-raised shellfish—
(A) for which the Secretary receives a petition requesting such voluntary fee based grading; and
(B) that the Secretary considers appropriate.
To conduct such other research and services and to perform such other activities as will facilitate the marketing, distribution, processing, and utilization of agricultural products through commercial channels.
(Aug. 14, 1946, ch. 966, title II, §203, 60 Stat. 1087; Aug. 9, 1955, ch. 632, §1, 69 Stat. 553; Pub. L. 95–113, title II, §206, Sept. 29, 1977, 91 Stat. 920; Pub. L. 97–31, §12(2), Aug. 6, 1981, 95 Stat. 153; Pub. L. 98–403, §2, Aug. 28, 1984, 98 Stat. 1480; Pub. L. 98–443, §9(j), Oct. 4, 1984, 98 Stat. 1708; Pub. L. 105–277, div. A, §101(a) [title VII, §755(a)], Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681, 2681–34; Pub. L. 106–472, title III, §303, Nov. 9, 2000, 114 Stat. 2069; Pub. L. 110–234, title X, §10402(a), title XI, §11016(a), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1349, 1368; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title X, §10402(a), title XI, §11016(a), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 2110, 2130; Pub. L. 113–79, title VI, §6202, title XII, §12106(a)(4), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 856, 981.)
This Act, referred to in subsecs. (f) and (h)(6), is act Aug. 14, 1946, ch. 966, 60 Stat. 1082, which enacted this chapter and sections 427h, 427j, and 3105 of this title and amended section 3104 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Tables.
Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234 were repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.
2014—Subsec. (j). Pub. L. 113–79, §6202, substituted "the Surface Transportation Board, the Federal Maritime Commission," for "the Interstate Commerce Commission, the Maritime Commission,,".
Subsec. (n)(1). Pub. L. 113–79, §12106(a)(4), added par. (1) and struck out former par. (1) which read as follows: "catfish (as defined by the Secretary under paragraph (2) of section 601(w) of title 21); and".
2008—Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 110–246, §10402(a), designated the first to sixth sentences of existing provisions as pars. (1), (2)(A), (2)(B), and (3) to (5), respectively, and added par. (6).
Subsecs. (n), (o). Pub. L. 110–246, §11016(a), added subsec. (n) and redesignated former subsec. (n) as (o).
2000—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 106–472 inserted subsec. heading, designated existing provisions as par. (1), inserted par. heading, and added par. (2).
1998—Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 105–277 inserted at end "Shell eggs packed under the voluntary grading program of the Department of Agriculture shall not have been shipped for sale previous to being packed under the program, as determined under a regulation promulgated by the Secretary."
1984—Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 98–403 inserted provisions relating to the credit of certain funds to the trust fund account which incurs the cost of services provided under this subsection, the future availability of those funds, and investment thereof by the Secretary of Agriculture or the Secretary of the Treasury.
Subsec. (j). Pub. L. 98–443 struck out "the Civil Aeronautics Board" after "the Maritime Commission,".
1981—Subsec. (j). Pub. L. 97–31 inserted reference to Secretary of Transportation.
1977—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 95–113 inserted provisions relating to the setting of a standard of quality for ice cream.
1955—Subsec. (h). Act Aug. 9, 1955, inserted sentence to provide penalties for forgery or alteration of inspection certificates, unauthorized use of official grade marks or designations, and false or deceptive reference to United States grade standards or services.
Amendment by section 12106(a)(4) of Pub. L. 113–79 effective as if enacted as part of section 11016(b) of Pub. L. 110–246, see section 12106(c) of Pub. L. 113–79, set out as a note under section 601 of Title 21, Food and Drugs.
Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, except as otherwise provided, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of this title.
Pub. L. 110–234, title X, §10402(b), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1349, and Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title X, §10402(b), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 2111, provided that: "The amendments made by subsection (a) [amending this section] take effect on the date that is 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act [June 18, 2008]."
[Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 enacted identical provisions. Pub. L. 110–234 was repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as a note under section 8701 of this title.]
Amendment by Pub. L. 98–443 effective Jan. 1, 1985, see section 9(v) of Pub. L. 98–443, set out as a note under section 5314 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.
Amendment by Pub. L. 95–113 effective Oct. 1, 1977, see section 1901 of Pub. L. 95–113, set out as a note under section 1307 of this title.
Interstate Commerce Commission abolished and functions of Commission transferred, except as otherwise provided in Pub. L. 104–88, to Surface Transportation Board effective Jan. 1, 1996, by section 1302 of Title 49, Transportation, and section 101 of Pub. L. 104–88, set out as a note under section 1301 of Title 49. References to Interstate Commerce Commission deemed to refer to Surface Transportation Board, a member or employee of the Board, or Secretary of Transportation, as appropriate, see section 205 of Pub. L. 104–88, set out as a note under section 1301 of Title 49.
Section 304 of 1961 Reorg. Plan No. 7, eff. Aug. 12, 1961, 26 F.R. 7315, 75 Stat. 840, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, abolished Federal Maritime Board, including offices of members of Board. Functions of Board transferred either to Federal Maritime Commission or to Secretary of Commerce by sections 103 and 202 of 1961 Reorg. Plan No. 7.
United States Maritime Commission abolished by 1950 Reorg. Plan No. 21, eff. May 24, 1950, 15 F.R. 3178, 64 Stat. 1273, set out in the Appendix of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, which transferred part of its functions and part of functions of its Chairman to Federal Maritime Board and Chairman thereof, such Board having created by that Plan as an agency within Department of Commerce with an independent status in some respects, and transferred remainder of such Commission's functions and functions of its Chairman to Secretary of Commerce, with power vested in Secretary to authorize their performance by Maritime Administrator, head of Maritime Administration, which likewise was established by Plan in Department of Commerce with provision that chairman of said Federal Maritime Board should, ex officio, be such Administrator.
Executive and administrative functions of Maritime Commission transferred to Chairman of Maritime Commission by 1949 Reorg. Plan No. 6, eff. Aug. 20, 1949, 14 F.R. 5228, 63 Stat. 1069, set out in the Appendix to Title 5.
Pub. L. 115–334, title XII, §12108, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4943, provided that:
"(1) to limit the subjectivity in the application of beef grading standards;
"(2) to provide producers with greater confidence in the price of the producers' cattle; and
"(3) to provide investors with both long and short positions more assurance in the cattle delivery system.
Pub. L. 106–387, §1(a) [title VII, §729], Oct. 28, 2000, 114 Stat. 1549, 1549A–33, provided that: "Hereafter, none of the funds appropriated by this Act or any other Act may be used to:
"(1) carry out the proviso under 7 U.S.C. 1622(f); or
"(2) carry out 7 U.S.C. 1622(h) unless the Secretary of Agriculture inspects and certifies agricultural processing equipment, and imposes a fee for the inspection and certification, in a manner that is similar to the inspection and certification of agricultural products under that section, as determined by the Secretary: Provided, That this provision shall not affect the authority of the Secretary to carry out the Federal Meat Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), the Poultry Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.), or the Egg Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 1031 et seq.)."
Similar provisions were contained in the following prior appropriation acts:
Pub. L. 106–78, title VII, §734, Oct. 22, 1999, 113 Stat. 1165.
Pub. L. 105–277, div. A, §101(a) [title VII, §747], Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681, 2681–32, as amended by Pub. L. 106–31, title V, §5001(c), May 21, 1999, 113 Stat. 109.
Pub. L. 105–18, title II, §1001, June 12, 1997, 111 Stat. 172, provided that not later than 30 days after June 12, 1997, Secretary of Agriculture was to collect and disseminate, on weekly basis, statistically reliable information, obtained from cheese manufacturing areas in United States, on prices received and terms of trade involving bulk cheese, including information on national average price for bulk cheese sold through spot and forward contract transactions, and further provided for confidentiality of information provided to, or acquired by, Secretary, report to Congress not later than 150 days after June 12, 1997, on rate of reporting compliance by cheese manufacturers with respect to information collected, and for termination of authority to collect information on Apr. 5, 1999.
Pub. L. 102–237, title I, §124, Dec. 13, 1991, 105 Stat. 1844, provided that:
"(1) price reporting series of wholesale, retail, box, carcass, pelt, offal, and live lamb sales in the United States, including markets in—
"(A) California (including San Francisco);
"(B) the East Coast region (including Washington, D.C.);
"(C) the Midwest region (including Chicago, Illinois);
"(E) the Rocky Mountain region; and
"(2) sheep and lamb inventories, including on-feed reports;
"(3) the price and supply relationships between retailers and breakers;
"(4) the viability of voluntary or mandatory reporting for sheep prices; and
"(5) information on the import and export of sheep, analyzed by cut, carcass, box, breeder stock, and sex.
"(A) develop a price discovery system formula for the lamb market, such as carcass equivalent pricing; and
"(B) establish a price discovery and reporting system for the lamb market to assist lamb producers to better allocate their resources and make informed production and marketing decisions.
Pub. L. 101–624, title XIII, subtitle C, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3566, as amended by Pub. L. 102–237, title I, §114(a)(3), Dec. 13, 1991, 105 Stat. 1838, provided that:
"As used in this subtitle, the term 'cosmetic appearance' means the exterior appearance of an agricultural commodity, including changes to that appearance resulting from superficial damage or other alteration that do not significantly affect yield, taste, or nutritional value.
"(1) determine pesticide application levels for United States perishable commodity production and assess trends, and factors influencing those trends, of pesticide application levels since 1975;
"(2) determine the extent to which Federal grade standards and other regulations affect pesticide use in agriculture for cosmetic appearance;
"(3) determine the effect of reducing emphasis on cosmetic appearance in grade standards and other regulations on—
"(A) the application and availability of pesticides in agriculture;
"(B) the adoption of agricultural practices that result in reduced pesticide use;
"(C) production and marketing costs;
"(D) domestic and international markets and trade for perishable commodities;
"(4) determine the extent to which grade standards and other regulations reflect consumer preferences;
"(5) develop options for implementation of food marketing policies and practices that will remove obstacles that may exist to pesticide use reduction, based on the findings of research conducted under this section.
"(A) offer consumers choices among perishable commodities produced with different production practices;
"(B) provide consumers with information about agricultural practices used in the production of perishable commodities; or
"(C) educate the public about the relationship, as determined in the research conducted under this subtitle, between the cosmetic appearance of perishable commodities and pesticide use.
"With regard to Federal grade standards developed and promulgated pursuant to the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1621 et seq.), the Secretary of Agriculture shall:
"(1) Take into account the impact of those standards on the ability of perishable commodity growers to reduce the use of pesticides.
"(2) Provide for citizens outside of the perishable commodity industry fair and reasonable opportunity to formally petition a change in grade standards.
"(3) Provide for a comment period after a formal petition to change grade standards has been made to enable all interested parties to submit information. The Secretary of Agriculture shall evaluate the information and consider it in the revision process.
"(4) Provide interested parties with annual status reports during the period 1992 through 1994, updated upon request, on all pending grade standard changes the Department of Agriculture is considering.
"There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out the activities required under this subtitle, $4,000,000 for each fiscal year."