7 U.S.C. § 1622 - Duties of Secretary relating to agricultural products

Cite as:7 U.S.C. § 1622
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-252 (12/22/2020)

The Secretary of Agriculture is directed and authorized:

(a) Determination of methods of processing, packaging, marketing, etc.; publication of results

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.

(b) Determination of costs

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.

(c) Improvement of standards of quality, condition, etc.; standard of quality for ice cream

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".

(d) Elimination of artificial barriers to free movement

To conduct, assist, foster, and direct studies and informational programs designed to eliminate artificial barriers to the free movement of agricultural products.

(e) Development of new markets

(1) In general

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.

(2) Fees and penalties

(A) In general

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.

(B) Deposit

Fees and penalties collected under subparagraph (A) shall be deposited into the account that incurred the cost of providing the mediation or arbitration service.

(C) Availability

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.

(D) No requirement for use of services

No person shall be required by the Secretary to use the mediation and arbitration services provided under this paragraph.

(f) Increasing consumer education

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).

(g) Collection and dissemination of marketing information

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.

(h) Inspection and certification of products in interstate commerce; credit and future availability of funds; investment; certificates as evidence; penalties

(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.


(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.

To continue reading