United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Apr 17, 2024

§ 1622.
Duties of Secretary relating to agricultural products
The Secretary of Agriculture is directed and authorized:
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.

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.

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”.

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.

Development of new markets
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.

Fees and penalties
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.


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 requirement for use of services

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

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).

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.

Inspection and certification of products in interstate commerce; credit and future availability of funds; investment; certificates as evidence; penalties
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Identification of honey.—
In general.—
The use of a label or advertising material on, or in conjunction with, packaged honey that bears any official certificate of quality, grade mark or statement, continuous inspection mark or statement, sampling mark or statement, or any combination of the certificates, marks, or statements of the Department of Agriculture is hereby prohibited under this Act unless there appears legibly and permanently in close proximity (such as on the same side(s) or surface(s)) to the certificate, mark, or statement, and in at least a comparable size, the 1 or more names of the 1 or more countries of origin of the lot or container of honey, preceded by the words “Product of” or other words of similar meaning.
A violation of the requirements of subparagraph (A) may be deemed by the Secretary to be sufficient cause for debarment from the benefits of this Act only with respect to honey.
Development of facilities for assembling, processing, transporting, etc.

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.

Improvement of transportation facilities and rates

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.

Collection and dissemination of marketing statistics

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.

Development of procurement standards and specifications

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.

Promotion of research for handling, storing, preserving, etc.

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.

Grading program
To establish within the Department of Agriculture a voluntary fee based grading program for—
all fish of the order Siluriformes; and
any additional species of farm-raised fish or farm-raised shellfish—
for which the Secretary receives a petition requesting such voluntary fee based grading; and
that the Secretary considers appropriate.
General research, services, and activities

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.)
cite as: 7 USC 1622