United States Grain Standards Act of 1916 (USGSA): P.L. 64-190 (August 11, 1916), as amended, authorizes the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration to establish official marketing standards (not health and safety standards) for grains and oilseeds, and requires that exported grains and oilseeds be officially weighed and inspected. Domestically marketed grain and oilseeds may be, but are not required to be, officially inspected. Export inspections are carried out by federal inspectors or by federally supervised state inspection agencies, called delegated official inspection agencies. Official inspections of domestically traded grain is done by federally supervised state agencies and private companies, called designated official inspection agencies. Typically, marketing standards describe the physical characteristics (such as weight, damaged kernels, foreign material, shrunken and broken kernels, and defects) of the commodity and serve as contract language to facilitate marketing. Official weighing and inspection is paid for on a fee-for-service basis, not with federal funds. Major changes to the law were adopted in the USGSA Amendments of 1968, the USGSA of 1976 (P.L. 94-582), and the Grain Quality Improvement Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-641).

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