Farm groups sign biotech access agreement
The Biotechnology Industry Organization and the American Seed Trade Association are pleased to announce that the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, and the National Corn Growers Association have become signatories to the Accord: Generic Event Marketability and Access Agreement.
“Having the Farm Bureau, ASA and NCGA as signatories to the GEMAA is a major step forward for the Accord,” said Cathleen Enright, Executive Vice President at BIO. “All three organizations have been key players in the development of the GEMAA and we welcome their commitment to the Accord process.”
“We’ve aimed to create an agreement that would enable national farm organizations to participate so growers can have a role in the process and get access to important information about patent expiration, ” said Andrew LaVigne, president and CEO of ASTA. “These organizations have been key stakeholders from the beginning of this 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.”
“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.”
In the spring of 2010, BIO and ASTA set out to establish an effective, private sector-led solution to ensuring critical domestic and international regulatory authorizations are maintained for biotech events once patents expire. This effort led to creation of the Accord. The Accord consists of two agreements the GEMAA and the Data Use and Compensation Agreement. The GEMAA is now effective and in the process of implementation. The legal text of the DUCA is near completion, and both BIO and ASTA will begin stakeholder outreach shortly. With the addition of the Farm Bureau, ASA and NCGA, the GEMAA has nine signatories.
More information about the Accord and the GEMAA signature process can be found at www.AgAccord.org.