Action to Seed Permits Cancellation of Seed Firms Illegal

To stop contaminated seed from entering New Zealand, The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has imposed tough new border restrictions. The move follows the discovery of velvetleaf in fodder beet seeds imported from Europe. Across the country, MPI, industry bodies and regional councils are currently responding to an outbreak of the invasive weed in farm properties.

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MPI Taken Tough Steps on Imported Seed in New Zealand.

To stop contaminated seed from entering New Zealand, The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has imposed tough new border restrictions. The move follows the discovery of velvetleaf in fodder beet seeds imported from Europe. Across the country, MPI, industry bodies and regional councils are currently responding to an outbreak of the invasive weed in farm properties.

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To Encourage Innovation, China Updates Seed Law.

To introduce new crop varieties and stimulate more innovation with greater emphasis on developers' rights, china has updated its seed law to make it easier for seed companies.

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NFU Commented On Changes to Seeds Act Regulations.

The National Farmers Union (NFU) urges farmers and all Canadians interested in food and seed to respond by May 23, 2013 to the federal government’s proposed changes to the Seeds Act Regulations. The changes will have far-reaching implications that should concern all farmers and the general public, and are being made through the Canada Gazette process. Terry Boehm, NFU President Said that “The Seeds Act and its regulations were originally set up to protect farmers and all of Canadian agriculture from unscrupulous seed dealers and poor quality seed. But the proposed changes to the regulations clearly show that the federal government is prepared to let seed companies decide what farmers can and cannot use for seed”. The proposed changes will eliminate the requirement for independent field-testing and minimum performance standards before new varieties of soybeans and all forages (hay crops such as alfalfa) can be registered. They will also allow seed companies to unilaterally de-register varieties at will, regardless of their value to farmers. Boehm also said that “If companies are allowed to de-register varieties, they can stop farmers from accessing and using perfectly good varieties, We expect seed companies will use this opportunity to put farmers on a ‘variety treadmill’, de-registering old varieties so that the only varieties available to them will be expensive new varieties subject to patent restrictions or royalty charges under Plant Breeders Rights” Ian Robson, NFU Region 5 (Manitoba) Coordinator Said “Variety trials ensure that new varieties are a fit for Canadian growing or market conditions. Without independent testing, we won’t know if a new variety will be any good. This means that farmers will become the field-testers, and we will be taking risks that will cost us if it doesn’t perform.” Currently a committee of experts for each crop must recommend it, based on performance, before a new variety can be registered. The proposed regulation will eliminate that step, allowing seed companies to register a new variety by simply supplying their own basic information to the CFIA. “The new system will allow pretty much automatic registration of soy and forages,” said Robson. “GM alfalfa still needs to be registered before it can be sold in Canada. The changes make it so decisions to register varieties are based more on benefit to the seed company than on the interests of farmers and the people their products feed. The NFU supports continuation of the current variety registration system, where recommendations for registration are based on data from independent testing assessed by crop variety experts.”

Source: http://www.nfu.ca/
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