U.S. is Newest Member of International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources

  • On March 24, 2017

The United States is the newest member of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, a ground-breaking instrument that works to strengthen global food security by promoting the conservation, sharing, and sustainable use of agricultural plant genetic resources.

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva and Thomas M. Duffy, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of the U.S. Embassy to Rome, made it official during a ceremony at the UN food agency’s Rome headquarters on March 13, 2017. The Treaty was passed by the U.S. Senate in September, 2016.

ASTA has long supported this technical, international agreement to facilitate the access and exchange of materials used to improve germplasm – the backbone of agricultural innovation. Under the Treaty, a Standard Material Transfer Agreement ensures that the terms for access to germplasm are uniform and transparent for all contracting parties. For more information on the Treaty, see ASTA’s briefing paper and testimony from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in May, 2016.