Nelsen notes the expectation of a generic seed market and the complexities around this issue are at the forefront of the association’s activities to help ensure farmers continued access to international markets and quality seed.

“Currently, we are again working with BIO to create an accord, a binding agreement to transfer data packages between the original patent holder and those utilizing the event once it goes off patent,” he says. “A guidance document is also being developed to help companies who are considering entering the ‘generic’ market, in addition to outreach and educational documents focusing on regulatory obligations and responsibilities, and the intellectual property of seed.”

At the international level, Nelsen says ASTA educates others about the importance of intellectual property and quality seed for increased germination rates and increased yields.

Also at the international level, Nelsen tells attendees that ASTA is working to harmonize seed standards to ultimately result in an international seed standard. This year, ASTA succeeded in obtaining bilateral agreements with the EU, which is a 28-nation agreement, addressing seed re-export.

“These agreements are a monumental step forward and set the stage for an international seed standard and ensure consistency in the movement of seed across borders -- creating a better, more reliable global seed industry,” Nelsen says. “These are truly successes that can only be accomplished when we work together as a team and look for opportunities to partner with other businesses, associations, agencies, and governments, relying on aggregate expertise for an outcome sure to surpass expectations.

“ASTA is diligent in identifying practical, science-based solutions and presenting them to government representatives with our global partners to bring about the results our businesses need.”