- On June 15, 2022
ASTA Submits Comments on Incentivizing Innovation in Seed
Alexandria, VA—June 15, 2022— On behalf of its nearly 700 member companies, the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) submitted comments today in response to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) request for public comment on Competition and the Intellectual Property System: Seeds and Other Agricultural Inputs (Doc. No. AMS-AMS-22-0025).
“The U.S. seed industry enjoys the global reputation of providing seed with the highest quality assurance standards, the most innovative technologies and broadest genetic resources,” said ASTA President & CEO Andy LaVigne. “It is one of the most dynamic and innovative sectors in the world, developing and commercializing thousands of new products annually.”
The U.S. industry is highly specialized and diversified with hundreds of varieties per crop species, supporting producers of row crops, flowers, vegetables, grasses, forages, turf, environment and conservation, and other seed sectors. Fair and open competition benefits farmers, consumers, the agriculture industry, and society at large. ASTA’s membership includes hundreds of seed companies that currently operate in the U.S., including those with local, regional, national, and international footprints. These diverse companies are committed to continuing investments in plant breeding, seed development and production to bring to market improved seed year after year.
“It’s important to note that seed companies are farmers too,” said LaVigne. “Seed is a highly time- and research-intensive crop, subject to the same environmental, weather, economic and global pressures as other crops varieties. And to meet farmer and consumer demand, seed companies must plan years in advance to predict what type of seed will be needed when and where. This requires significant long-term investment and risk.”
Strong and sustained investments in public sector plant research are critical to furthering innovation in plant breeding, seed development, and production. Ensuring farmers’ continued access to a wide variety of the highest quality seeds requires science-based regulatory approaches that are risk proportionate and predictable at both the domestic and international levels. Finally, the enforcement of strong intellectual property rights protections, domestically and internationally, is necessary to drive continued risk-taking and investment by U.S. companies and entrepreneurs.
ASTA and its members look forward to working with the U.S. government to ensure strong policies that foster economic, environmental and social sustainability, by incentivizing continued investments in seed.
Founded in 1883, the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) represents over 700 companies involved in seed production, plant breeding and related industries in North America. ASTA is the leading voice of action in all matters concerning the development, marketing and movement of seed, associated products and services throughout the world. The association’s broad membership offers varieties from alfalfa to zucchini and all production types including conventional, organic and biotech. ASTA promotes the development of better seed to produce better crops for a better quality of life.