Major Farm and Grower Groups Become GEMAA Signatories

The Biotechnology Industry Organization and American Seed Trade Association have announced that the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association and National Corn Growers Association have become signatories to the Accord: Generic Event Marketability and Access Agreement - or GEMAA. ASTA President and CEO Andrew LaVigne says the aim has been 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. All three groups have been key players in the development of the GEMAA. BIO Executive Vice President Cathleen Enright says having these groups as signatories is a major step forward for the Accord.

The American Soybean Association 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. ASA President Danny Murphy says the GEMAA provides signatories with important advance notifications by other signatories about when patented events will expire - as well as a seat at the table regarding the ongoing implementation of the GEMAA and whether changes should be considered in the future. NCGA President Pam Johnson says the GEMAA provides growers the confidence that important regulatory authorizations will be maintained in U.S. export markets. She says this was a priority for farmers.

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 in the spring of 2010. The effort led to the creation of the Accord - which consists of two agreements. The first agreement - the GEMAA - is now effective and in the process of implementation. With the addition of Farm Bureau, ASA and NCGA - it now has eight signatories. The Data Use and Compensation Agreement is near completion. For more information - visit www dot AgAccord dot org (www.AgAccord.org).

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