7 U.S.C. § 608b - U.S. Code - Unannotated Title 7. Agriculture § 608b. Marketing agreements;  exemption from anti-trust laws;  inspection requirements for handlers not subject to agreements

(a)  In order to effectuate the declared policy of this chapter, the Secretary of Agriculture shall have the power, after due notice and opportunity for hearing, to enter into marketing agreements with processors, producers, associations of producers, and others engaged in the handling of any agricultural commodity or product thereof, only with respect to such handling as is in the current of interstate or foreign commerce or which directly burdens, obstructs, or affects, interstate or foreign commerce in such commodity or product thereof.  The making of any such agreement shall not be held to be in violation of any of the antitrust laws of the United States, and any such agreement shall be deemed to be lawful:  Provided, That no such agreement shall remain in force after the termination of this chapter.

(b)(1)  If an agreement with the Secretary is in effect with respect to peanuts pursuant to this section--

(A)  all peanuts handled by persons who have not entered into such an agreement with the Secretary shall be subject to inspection to the same extent and manner as is required by such agreement;

(B)  no such peanuts shall be sold or otherwise disposed of for human consumption if such peanuts fail to meet the quality requirements of such agreement;  and

(C)  any assessment (except with respect to any assessment for the indemnification of losses on rejected peanuts) imposed under the agreement shall--

(i)  apply to peanut handlers (as defined by the Secretary) who have not entered into such an agreement with the Secretary in addition to those handlers who have entered into the agreement;  and

(ii)  be paid to the Secretary.

(2)  Violation of this subsection by a person who has not entered into such an agreement shall result in the assessment by the Secretary of a penalty equal to 140 percent of the support price for quota peanuts multiplied by the quantity of peanuts sold or disposed of in violation of subsection (b)(1)(B) of this section, as determined under section 1445c-3 of this title, for the marketing year for the crop with respect to which such violation occurs.

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