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Farm Groups Join Effort to Ease Transition After Biotech Patents Expire

American Soybean Association, Farm Bureau and National Corn Growers sign agreement to ensure regulatory order after patents expire on biotech events

Published on: Mar 7, 2013

The Biotechnology Industry Organization and the American Seed Trade Association Thursday announced 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.

The agreement is a private sector-led solution to ensuring critical domestic and international regulatory authorizations are maintained for biotech events once patents expire.

"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."

American Soybean Association, Farm Bureau and National Corn Growers sign agreement to ensure regulatory order after patents expire on biotech events
American Soybean Association, Farm Bureau and National Corn Growers sign agreement to ensure regulatory order after patents expire on biotech events

"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," said 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," Murphy added.

American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman said the Accord would ensure a smooth transition to a generic marketplace, and National Corn Growers Association President Pam Johnson said the GEMAA is a priority for U.S. farmers.

"Growers support an industry-led solution to the commercial challenges we face as a result of patent expirations on important biotechnology traits we use," Stallman said.

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.