Why Color Your Seed?
Many row crop, vegetable, grass and flower seeds are sold with a colored coating on the seed. Colorants are applied to seeds to differentiate between brands, applications, genetic traits, and technology. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandates under 40 CFR §153.155 that pesticide products intended for use in treating seeds must contain an EPA-approved colorant to impart an unnatural color to the seed, unless appropriate tolerances or other clearances have been established under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act for residues of the pesticide.
EPA-approved colorants are listed as inert ingredients under 40 CFR §180.910-§180.960. This series of regulations covers all inert ingredients that can be used on seeds and growing crops intended for food use and non-food use. These inert substances may contain limitations on use or be exempt from the requirements of a tolerance. Any material that is approved for application to seeds or growing crops for food use, may also be used in non-food applications.
The EPA maintains a list of trade names for manufacturers of inert ingredients to submit to the EPA for review to allow for the approval of formulated products and proprietary products. This list includes the trade name, manufacturer, and the 40 CFR approval status of the inert ingredient. This trade name can consist of a single substance or be a mixture of ingredients. Sensient has volunteered formulation information to the EPA for review and guidance to have our materials listed on the publicly available EPA Trade Name Database.