Non-Governmental Seed Testing Organizations

eOrganic authors:

Alex Stone, Oregon State University

Linda Brewer, Oregon State University

Micaela Colley, Organic Seed Alliance

This is an Organic Seed Resource Guide article.

United States

  • Association of American Seed Control Officials (AASCO) (verified 16 Jan 2009)
    The Association of American Seed Control Officials is an organization of seed regulatory officials from the United States and Canada. The Association was organized in 1949, from an outgrowth of regional meetings held in various parts of the United States. The members meet annually to discuss mutual concerns of seed law enforcement, to be updated on new developments in the seed industry, and to update the Recommended Uniform State Seed Law (RUSSL) which the organization developed and maintains as a "model" law for states and federal programs.
  • Front Range Seed Analysts (FRSA) (verified 16 Jan 2009)
    FRSA is a group of professional seed analysts, associates, and students who are involved in seed testing, trade or production. Our purpose is to inform, educate and support those involved with seeds both locally, nationally and internationally... through quarterly meetings, seminars, workshops, outreach programs and this web site.
    PO Box 1257
    Longmont, CO 80502-1257
  • Society of Commercial Seed Technologists, Inc. (SCST). (verified 16 Jan 2009)
    The Society of Commercial Seed Technologists is a organization comprised of commercial, independent and government seed technologists. Formed in 1922, the SCST functioned as a liaison between the Association of Official Seed Analysts (AOSA) and the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA). The SCST has developed over the years into a progressive organization that trains and provides accreditation of technologists, researches and develops rule changes, publishes training and education materials, and serves as an important resource to the seed industry.
    101 East State St., #214
    Ithaca, NY 14850
    Phone/fax: 607-256-3313


  • Association of Official Seed Analysts (AOSA). (verified 16 Jan 2009)
    The Association of Official Seed Analysts (AOSA) is an organization of member laboratories. Members include official state, federal, and university seed laboratories across the United States and Canada.
    Membership is extended to allied laboratories (those of government agencies and institutions outside the United States and Canada), affiliate members (those individuals employed in member laboratories), associate members (individuals not assigned to a member laboratory but contribute in a supportive role), and honorary members (those who have distinguished themselves in contributions to the Association and /or industry).
    AOSA was formed in 1908 in response to initial attempts by individual states to develop seed laws. This was the beginning of regulated seed commerce in the United States. Initial priorities included, as was defined in the constitution, an attempt to seek uniformity and accuracy in methods, results, and reports. It set as its objective an effort to perfect and make publicly known, through publication, uniform rules for seed testing.
    To assure a high standard of quality, many individuals within the AOSA member laboratories have acquired AOSA Certified Seed Analyst status through extensive training followed by a mandatory certification testing process.

Primary Functions:

  1. Establish the AOSA Rules for Testing Seeds which are generally adopted by most states as the rules for testing seeds in their respective states
  2. Contribute to the refinement and modification of the rules and procedures for seed testing
  3. Ensure that testing procedures are standardized between analysts and between laboratories
  4. Influence and assist in enforcement of appropriate seed legislation at state and federal levels
    Anita Hall, Executive Assistant
    AOSA, Inc.
    101 East State St., #214
    Ithaca, NY 14850
    Phone/fax: 607-256-3313
  • Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA). (verified 16 Jan 2009)
    The Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies is dedicated to assisting clients in the production, identification, distribution and promotion of certified classes of seed and other crop propagation materials.
    1601 52nd Ave.
    Moline, IL 61265  
    Phone: 309-736-0120 

  • Commercial Seed Analysts Association of Canada, Inc. (CSAAC). (verified 16 Jan 2009)
    CSAAC Objectives:
  1. to enable Commercial Seed Analysts to keep abreast of changes and improvements in seed analysing
  2. to maintain and encourage the highest proficiency and professional standards among its members.
  3. to assist members to solve problems that may arise at work.
  4. to facilitate co-operation between Canadian Food Inspection Agency, seed firms and seed laboratories.
    Doug Ashton, Executive Director
    108 Vaughan St.
    Almonte, ON K0A 1A0
    Phone: 613-256-7411
    Fax: 613-256-0485
  • International Seed Testing Association (ISTA).
    Founded in 1924, with the aim to develop and publish standard procedures in the field of seed testing, ISTA is inextricably linked with the history of seed testing. With member laboratories in over 70 countries world wide, ISTA membership is truly a global network.
    Vision:  Uniformity in Seed Testing world wide
    Mission: ISTA achieves its vision by producing internationally agreed rules for seed sampling and testing, accrediting laboratories, promoting research, and providing international seed analysis certificates, training and dissemination of knowledge in seed science and technology to facilitate seed trading nationally and internationally.
    ISTA Secretariat
    Z├╝richstrasse 50
    8303 Bassersdorf
    CH - Switzerland
    Phone: +41 44 838 6000
    Fax: +41 44 838 6001



Published January 19, 2009

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.