ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 7, 2013- The American Farm Bureau Federation (Farm Bureau), American Soybean Association (ASA), and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) announced their commitment to an industry-led agreement addressing regulatory responsibilities for post-patent seed technology.
The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) led the creation of the agreement, known as known as The Accord: Generic Event Marketability and Access Agreement (GEMAA). BIO Executive Vice President Cathy Enright called the farm groups’ signatures “a major step forward for the Accord. All three organizations have been key players in the development of the GEMAA and we welcome their commitment to the Accord process.”
“Growers support an industry-led solution to the commercial challenges we face as a result of patent expirations on important biotechnology traits we use,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman. “We commend ASTA and BIO for developing the Accord to ensure a smooth transition to a generic marketplace.”
With the addition of the Farm Bureau, ASA and NCGA, the GEMAA has nine signatories.
The Accord process began in 2010. The agreement consists of two agreements: the GEMAA and the Data Use and Compensation Agreement (DUCA). The GEMAA is now effective and in the process of implementation. The legal text of the DUCA is still being developed, and both BIO and ASTA said they will begin stakeholder outreach shortly.
“Since ASA was one of the producer organizations that urged the biotech and seed industries to develop a predictable roadmap for biotech events to go from patented to generic, we thought it only appropriate for ASA to sign onto the GEMAA.” added Danny Murphy, President of ASA. Additionally, the GEMAA provides signatories like ASA with important advance notifications by other signatories about when patented events will expire, and gives us a seat at the table regarding the ongoing implementation of the GEMAA and whether changes should be considered in the future. ASA appreciates the work that went into developing the GEMAA, and we are pleased to become a signatory to it.”
“The GEMAA provides growers the confidence that important regulatory authorizations will be maintained in U.S. export markets,” said Pam Johnson, President, National Corn Growers Association. "This was a priority for farmers and we are pleased that industry was able to work together and lead on this important issue.”
More information about the Accord and the GEMAA signature process can be found at: www.AgAccord.org.
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