Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 3.2. Agriculture, Animal Care, and Food
Chapter 43. Grades, Marks, and Brands
12/5/2021

Article 2. Virginia Quality Label.

§ 3.2-4312. Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Agricultural and food product" means any horticultural, viticulture, dairy, livestock, poultry, bee, other farm or garden product, fish or fishery product, and other foods.

"Continuous official inspection" means that an employee or a licensed representative of the Department or of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or employees of either, shall regularly and continuously examine the commodity as it is being packed.

Code 1950, § 3-270; 1966, c. 702, § 3.1-349; 2008, c. 860; 2020, c. 317.

§ 3.2-4313. Use of Virginia Quality Label to designate inspected products.

The Commissioner may use an outline of Virginia impressed upon the labels, tags, seals, or containers of any agricultural or food product that has been subject to the continuous official inspection service indicating that the product is of such quality and description as shown on the label, tag, seal, or container. Such outline map when made use of pursuant to the provisions of this article shall be known as the "Virginia Quality Label."

Code 1950, § 3-271; 1966, c. 702, § 3.1-350; 2008, c. 860; 2020, c. 317.

§ 3.2-4314. Collaboration with United States authorities.

In any instance when an authorized department, agent or officer of the United States collaborates with the Department in the inspection of any agricultural or food product, the Virginia Quality Label may, with the consent of the appropriate department, agency or officer of the United States, be used together with the shield of the United States on any label, tag, seal, or container, thus indicating continuous inspectional collaboration between the Department and a department, agency, or officer of the United States.

Code 1950, § 3-272; 1966, c. 702, § 3.1-351; 2008, c. 860; 2020, c. 317.

§ 3.2-4315. Department may prepare and distribute labels, tags, and seals with Virginia Quality Label.

The Department may prepare labels, tags and seals impressed with the Virginia Quality Label and the shield of the United States. The Department may furnish the labels, tags, and seals at reasonable prices to any producer, processor, packer, or dresser whose agricultural and food product has been subject to such continuous official state or federal-state inspection service.

Code 1950, § 3-274; 1966, c. 702, § 3.1-353; 2008, c. 860; 2020, c. 317.

§ 3.2-4316. Preparation and use of Label by producer; design to be determined by Commissioner.

The Commissioner may adopt regulations that permit any producer, processor, packer, or dresser to make or prepare, or to cause to be made or prepared, the labels, tags, or seals to be placed on his own product, or to print, stamp, or otherwise place or cause to be placed the Virginia Quality Label and the shield of the United States upon such products or containers that have been subject to continuous state or federal-state inspection, so long as the Commissioner determines the design of the label, tag, seal, stamp, or other device.

Code 1950, § 3-275; 1966, c. 702, § 3.1-354; 2008, c. 860; 2020, c. 317.

§ 3.2-4317. Virginia Quality Label Fund established.

There is hereby created in the state treasury a special nonreverting fund to be known as the Virginia Quality Label Fund, hereafter referred to as "the Fund." The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller. Moneys in the Fund shall be used solely for the purposes set forth in this chapter. All moneys derived from the furnishing of labels, tags, and seals, or from permitting the use of the Virginia Quality Label or the label with the shield of the United States shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Fund. Interest earned on moneys in the Fund shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. Any moneys remaining in the Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Moneys in the Fund shall be used by the Department to defray the cost of preparing, furnishing, and publicizing the labels, tags, and seals.

Code 1950, § 3-277; 1966, c. 702, § 3.1-356; 2008, c. 860; 2020, c. 317.

§ 3.2-4318. Jurisdiction to enjoin unlawful use of Label.

A. Any circuit court in the Commonwealth shall have jurisdiction to enjoin the use of the Virginia Quality Label, a label with the shield of the United States, or any imitation or counterfeit likeness used in violation of this article.

B. The Commissioner may apply for and an appropriate court may grant a temporary or permanent injunction restraining any person from using the labels described in subsection A.

Code 1950, §§ 3-279, 3-280; 1966, c. 702, §§ 3.1-358, 3.1-359; 2005, c. 681; 2008, c. 860; 2020, c. 317.

§ 3.2-4319. Certificate as evidence.

Every certificate relating to the analysis, grade, classification, quality, or condition of agricultural products, either raw or processed, that is issued: (i) under this article; (ii) in cooperation between federal and state authorities, agencies, or organizations pursuant to a federal statute and this article; (iii) under a similar act of the legislature of any other state, and every certified copy; and (iv) every certificate issued pursuant to a federal statute, and every certified copy, shall be received in any court of the Commonwealth as prima facie evidence of the truth of the statements contained in the certificate.

Code 1950, § 3-280.1; 1966, c. 702, § 3.1-360; 2008, c. 860.

§ 3.2-4320. Restrictions as to use of Label.

It is unlawful to use the Virginia Quality Label or a label with the shield of the United States, except in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Commissioner, and in no case shall it be used upon the label, tag, seal, or container of the product of any farm, factory, mill or of any other producing, processing, packing, preparing, or dressing establishment unless such product is processed, packed, prepared, or dressed under continuous official state or federal-state inspection.

Code 1950, § 3-273; 1966, c. 702, § 3.1-352; 2008, c. 860; 2020, c. 317.

§ 3.2-4321. Penalties for misuse or unauthorized use of Virginia Quality Label.

A. It is unlawful for any person:

1. To use the Virginia Quality Label or a label with the shield of the United States in violation of any provisions of this article;

2. To use, with the intent to mislead or deceive, any imitation or counterfeit likeness of the Virginia Quality Label, or a label or shield of the United States: (i) on the label, tag, seal, container, or sign of any product that is sold or offered for sale; or (ii) in connection with any offer to sell or advertise for sale any product.

B. Any person who violates any provision of this article is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

C. Any corporation incorporated under the laws of the Commonwealth that has for 18 years or more prior to June 29, 1948, been using an outline map of Virginia, of its own design, for branding packages or containers for agricultural or horticultural products bought and sold by it, shall have the right to continue to use such outline map for such purpose.

Code 1950, § 3-278; 1966, c. 702, § 3.1-357; 2008, c. 860.