Nibbles: Lad spuds, Assisi olives, Amazing maize art, Wild tea, Peruvian alpaca, TR4, Seed banks, Space Seed Force, Embrapa sweetpotato, ITPGRFA

One Reply to “Nibbles: Lad spuds, Assisi olives, Amazing maize art, Wild tea, Peruvian alpaca, TR4, Seed banks, Space Seed Force, Embrapa sweetpotato, ITPGRFA”

  1. Seed Treaty
    Luigi, you say: “ … if you use material from the MLS to create a new crop variety, and commercialize this new plant, you have to pay a portion of any money you make back into something called the Benefit Sharing Fund (BSF)” I am not sure that this is correct. The Seed Treaty is an international treaty – that is, it covers movement of samples between countries. It does not specifically cover a country moving MLS samples within its borders. For example, it could be argued USDA samples supplied to US plant breeders do not mandate an SMTA and therefore no subsequent payment to the MLS is needed. However CGIAR samples covered by the Treaty (all of them) and supplied to the USDA should require an onward SMTA to US plant breeders and payment for specific use. Also, it seems, CGIAR samples used within each Centre would not need an SMTA and `material under development’ from internal use would not require payment to the MLS even if then distributed internationally (they are at no time covered by the MLS).
    There is also the problem of what is meant by `commercialization’: does this include Plant Varietal Rights or just patents? I’d include the lot – but it seems to be stuck at patents at the moment.
    The first facts we need are actual examples. Just what does each country do for internal distribution of samples to breeders? And what does a national plant breeder do when she/he gets a sample SMTA-free from the national genebank? Can it be passed on SMTA-free to plant breeders in other countries (for example, between various branches of an international seed company)?
    There seem to be sufficient ambiguities in the Treaty to allow a skilled lawyer (I’m just a layman) to run rings round the Treaty.

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