WVC 19 -
CHAPTER 19. AGRICULTURE.
WVC 19 - 5 -
ARTICLE 5. GRADING AND PACKING OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES.
WVC 19 - 5 - 1
§19-5-1. Standard grades for closed packages of fruits and
The commissioner of agriculture shall establish and
promulgate from time to time official standard grades for all
closed packages of fruits and vegetables, by which the quantity,
quality and size may be determined, and prescribe and promulgate
rules and regulations governing the markings which shall be
required upon packages of fruits and vegetables for the purpose
of showing the name and address of the producer or packer, the
variety, quantity, quality and size of the product.
It is the intent of this article that the commissioner of
agriculture of West Virginia shall promulgate all United States
standard grades for fruits and vegetables, and, after consulting
with the president of the state horticultural society and a
committee of five fruit and vegetable growers appointed by the
president of said society, such committee to be made up of
growers from the various fruit and vegetable producing sections
of the state, shall, with their advice and consent, establish
such other grades within this state as in their judgment may be
WVC 19 - 5 - 2
§19-5-2. Markings on packages.
Whenever such standards for the grade or other
classification of fruits and vegetables under this article
becomes effective, every closed package containing fruits or
vegetables grown and packed in this state and sold, offered or
exposed for sale, or packed for sale or transported for sale, by
any person, firm, organization or corporation, shall bear
conspicuously upon the outside thereof, in plain words and
figures, such markings as are prescribed by the commissioner of
agriculture of West Virginia under the provisions of this
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§19-5-3. Enforcement of article.
The commissioner of agriculture of West Virginia shall be
charged with the enforcement of the provisions of this article,
and for that purpose shall have power:
(a) To enter and inspect personally, or through any
authorized agent, every place within this state where fruits or
vegetables are produced, packed, or stored for sale, shipped,
delivered for shipment, offered for sale, or sold, and to inspect
such places and all fruit or vegetable containers and equipment
found in any such place;
(b) To appoint, superintend, control and discharge such
inspectors and subordinate inspectors as in his discretion may be
deemed to be necessary, for the special purpose of enforcing the
terms of this article, to prescribe their duties and fix their
(c) Personally, or through any authorized agent or any such
inspector, to forbid the movement of any closed package or
packages of fruits or vegetables found to be in violation of any
of the provisions of this article which have not been actually
accepted by a common carrier for shipment in interstate traffic,
and to require the same to be repacked or remarked. A carload of
fruits or vegetables shall not be considered as actually accepted
by a common carrier for shipment until the loading is finished,
the car sealed and the bill of lading issued;
(d) To cause to be instituted through the prosecuting
attorney of any county of this state, in any court of competent
jurisdiction or before any justice of the peace of such county, in which fruits or vegetables are packed, shipped, delivered for
shipment, offered for sale or sold, or may be found, in violation
of any of the provisions of this article, prosecutions for such
WVC 19 - 5 - 4
§19-5-4. When fruits or vegetables presumed offered or exposed
When fruits or vegetables in closed packages are delivered
to a railroad station or a common carrier for shipment, or
delivered to a storage house for storage, such delivery shall be
prima facie evidence that the fruits or vegetables are offered or
exposed for sale, except in movement of unpacked and unlabelled
fruits or vegetables for the purpose of repacking.
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§19-5-5. Offenses; penalty.
Any person, firm, organization or corporation, who shall
violate any of the provisions of this article, shall be guilty of
a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by
a fine of not less than twenty-five nor more than five hundred
dollars for each offense.
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§19-5-6. Exemption from prosecution.
No person, firm, organization or corporation shall be
prosecuted under the provisions of this article:
(a) When he or it can establish by satisfactory evidence
that he or it was not a party to the packing, grading or marking
of such fruits or vegetables;
(b) When he or it can establish that the fruits or
vegetables offered for sale have passed inspection by an
authorized inspector of this state and bear the official West
Virginia inspection stamp, or by an inspector of the United
States department of agriculture and found to be packed in
accordance with the requirements of the commissioner of
agriculture of West Virginia.
WVC 19 - 5 - 7
§19-5-7. Certificates of inspectors as prima facie evidence.
All certificates issued by inspectors in compliance with the
regulations of the secretary of agriculture of the United States
governing the inspection of fruits and vegetables pursuant to the
act making appropriations for the United States department of
agriculture, or pursuant to this article, shall be admissible as
prima facie evidence in all courts of this state.
WVC 19 - 5 - 8
§19-5-8. Provisions of article separable.
If any section, subdivision, sentence, clause or phrase of
this article is for any reason held to be unconstitutional, such
decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions
of this article.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session