Legal seed certification processes and organizations developed around the turn of the previous century. The goal of such laws and organizations was to protect farmers by assuring them that the seed they purchased was clean and viable and the variety it was purported to be. These processes also protected plant breeders and reputable seed companies. For many crops most notably corn, over time quality assurance was assumed by the seed companies who’s reputation and business would depend on the quality of the product. Today the traditional purpose of seed certification is still going strong especially for small grains and also newer crops such as prairie plant seeds. But a new dimension has been added to insure that the crop seed meets the claims regarding the presence or absence of transgenes or as they have become known “traits”.
Soil Science Extension
University of Wisconsin Madison