In Iowa, The American Seed Trade Association and the Biotechnology Industry Organization recently completed the first phase of an industry Accord to establish a framework for post-patent single trait seeds. The following reaction should be attributed to Chuck Larson, executive director of Americans for Choice and Competition in Agriculture:
“After five years of tireless negotiations among ASTA, BIO and industry stakeholders, progress on the maintenance of traits after patent expiration is a significant first step to ensure American farmers are equipped with continued access to the technologies necessary to feed the world’s growing population through increased production and better nutrition in the grain trade. For the GEMMA to be effective, all trait providers must agree to it, and AgChoice encourages these industry-leading companies to sign the GEMMA and include all biotech traits as part of the Accord.
“Although this is a significant milestone for the industry, there is still much work to be done. Innovation in this market is focused on the multi-trait, or stacked, seed marketplace. Therefore, the Accord will remain incomplete until a full set of legal and regulatory systems are in place to promote choice, competition and innovation for farmers. Key to the next phase of the process is recognizing the importance of international grain trade and the maintenance of regulatory data. Establishing a robust framework for bringing post-patent multi-trait seeds into the agricultural marketplace will unleash a wave of innovation that will increase agricultural output and – ultimately – the U.S. Economy.”