SWI 132.1.1 Seed Program
Specific Work Instruction
Official Seed Sampling

12.0 Sampling for Specific Purposes

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The seed program code, assigned to a sample submitted to the laboratory, gives direction to the laboratory about the purpose for which it is taken. Consequently, the requirements for submitting the sample may vary. A listing and description of the seed program sample codes used by inspectors can be found in Appendix IV. Specific sample types are highlighted below.

12.1 Marketplace Surveillance Samples (MPF, MPI, MPN, MPP)

A marketplace surveillance sample is one that is drawn from a seed lot that is present at the place of sale or storage. The seed may be pedigreed, non-pedigreed, domestic or imported. Section 15.5.1 provides options for submission of marketplace monitoring samples of large seeded crop kinds (i.e., species in Grade Tables I to VI and XVI to XVIII). When submitting samples for purity and germination testing by SSTS, at a minimum, the quantity specified in column 3 of Appendix III must be submitted, regardless of whether the inspector is conducting a purity analysis on large seeded crop kinds. If a disease test for true loose smut is required, this must be specifically requested on the SSF. Crop kinds listed in Grade Tables VII-XVII and XIX-XX must be tested for P&G by a CFIA seed laboratory.

Should the single monitoring sample indicate a noncompliance with the labelled grade and there is no seed of that lot remaining at the establishment, the inspector should target that establishment in the following year (COM samples) and take appropriate compliance action based on the results of the COM samples. If there is seed of the noncompliant lot remaining at the establishment, the inspector must take enforcement action on the lot.

12.2 Compliance / Complaint Samples (COM)

This sampling is normally done in response to a complaint, to follow-up corrective actions, when there is a suspected non-conformance or to verify compliance. Obtaining a representative sample of the entire seed lot may not be possible. A sample from the available part of the seed lot must be taken using the appropriate approved sampling method and intensity.

The sample is submitted to the applicable CFIA seed laboratory for testing. When submitting Compliance/Complaint samples, a detailed description of the noncompliance as well as any related documentation (e.g., Certificates of Analysis) should be forwarded to the laboratory with the sample.

When Variety Verification (VV) testing is required, an untampered sample of appropriate size must be submitted to the appropriate CFIA seed laboratory (Appendix III). If the VV sample is extracted from the composite sample, it must be mixed and divided as described in Section 13.

12.3 Investigation Samples (INV)

This procedure is to be followed by the sampler when sending a sample to the laboratory which is to be examined or analysed pursuant to an investigation under the Seeds Act and Seeds Regulations when a product is suspected of being out of compliance. The laboratory supplies the supporting analytical data to enforce the regulations. Data generated by the laboratory could support cases of adulteration, economic fraud, presence and level of pathogens, and grade standards not being met.

Investigation samples must be taken by an official seed sampler as follows:

  1. continuity of evidence must be maintained at all times, i.e., from drawing of the sample to the written release of responsibility by the Seed Section, Operations or Enforcement and Investigation Services. The sampler must keep the sample and all relevant materials in his presence or locked in a secure cabinet/locker. All keys must be kept by the sampler. This continuity must be maintained until the sealed package containing the seed sample and relevant documentation is shipped to the laboratory by courier;
  2. when submitting investigation samples, a detailed description of the investigation as well as any related documentation (e.g., Certificates of Analysis) should be forwarded to the laboratory with the sample;
  3. the sample is submitted to the applicable CFIA seed laboratory for testing. It is recommended that the sampler contact the supervisor of the laboratory unit prior to sending an investigation sample to inform them of the impending sample. The sampler must clearly address the package to the laboratory unit to which it is destined and clearly label it as an investigation sample.

12.3.1 Required Information for Investigation Samples

The following information must be recorded on the SSF:

  1. time/date and place the sample was taken;
  2. number and type of sample containers and nature of the sample, e.g., seed envelope containing 1200 g of soybeans;
  3. tests that are required;
  4. identification of the origin of the sample, e.g., lot designation/number;
  5. a detailed description of the issue should be forwarded to the laboratory with the sample, when possible.

The sample is to be labelled with the appropriate information to identify it (at a minimum, that stated in Section 15.3) and relate it to the SSF.

12.3.2 Sealing and Shipping Procedures for Investigation Samples

Prior to submitting an investigation sample to the laboratory, the inspector must verify that:

  1. both the inner container and the outer container are sealed as indicated in Section 15.2, so that no unauthorized opening can occur without detection;
  2. the package is addressed to the laboratory designated to conduct the tests. The specified authorized laboratory contact person must also be indicated to facilitate maintenance of the continuity of evidence;
  3. the outside of the package is clearly marked "Seed Investigation Sample" and "To be opened only by addressee";
  4. the package is shipped by courier so that there will be a record of receipt by the authorized laboratory personnel.

12.4 Samples for the Issuance of Orange International Seed Lot Certificates (EXP)

Samples taken for the issuance of Orange International Seed Lot Certificates are subject to the procedures set out in the ISTA Rules Chapter 2. Such samples can only be taken by individuals recognized by ISTA-accredited member laboratories. CFIA seed laboratories are ISTA-accredited member laboratories. The laboratory accepts samples from inspectors/seed samplers who have been certified to take samples for ISTA sampling.

When obtaining samples for the issuance of Orange International Seed Lot Certificates, the sampling prescriptions laid out in the ISTA Rules Chapter 2 must be followed. The ISTA Rules are amended annually. The rule amendments are effective in January of each year. The laboratory will forward the rule changes electronically in a PDF file to each official ISTA seed sampler.

The ISTA Rules are not standards or legislation that state the requirements for purity, germination and freedom from stated species that the seed lot must meet. They are methods and procedures for conducting the sampling of the seed lot and testing of the seed sample.

It is a requirement that the method of sealing be stated on the Orange International Seed Lot Certificate. Therefore, the sampler must state on the SSF what method of sealing was used, e.g., stitched OECD labels, a metal seal.

Samplers are to invoice the requesting party for sampling services.

12.5 Samples for Monitoring AE Samplers (AES)

Samples taken for monitoring AE samplers must be taken by an official seed sampler from a lot previously or concurrently sampled by the AE sampler. The AES samples are submitted to the SSTS for P&G testing only, and not VV, moisture or disease testing. Appendix III provides the quantities required for each species. The name of the authorised exporter sampler must be included on the SSF in addition to the other information described in Appendix V. There is no need to conduct a purity examination of the sample before submitting it to the laboratory.

12.6 Samples for Monitoring AE Seed Testing Laboratories (AEL)

Samples taken for monitoring AE seed testing laboratories must be taken by an official seed sampler, normally from the unexamined portion of a sample previously analysed by the AE seed testing laboratory. The inspector must provide the laboratory with a written, dated and signed notice that CFIA has removed part or all, of the sample from the laboratory. The documentation should include the private laboratory's sample/test number, the crop kind, variety (if applicable) and any other information pertinent to the sample.

The AEL samples are submitted to the SSTS for P&G testing only and not VV, moisture or disease testing. Appendix III provides the quantities required for each species. The name of the AE seed testing laboratory must be included on the SSF. There is no need to conduct a purity examination of the sample before submitting it to the laboratory.

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