The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) has become the ninth signatory of an industry-led agreement ensuring critical regulatory authorizations are maintained for biotech events once patents expire, announced president and CEO of ASTA, Andrew LaVigne.

“We believe the agreement will promote continued innovation and competition in the seed industry while respecting the intellectual property rights that are critical for meeting the global demand for food, feed, fiber and fuel,” said LaVigne. “In becoming a signatory, we are demonstrating our support for the seamless transition of genetic events when they come off patent and providing our members with continued access to information about this process.”

The Accord is comprised of two parts: the Genetic Event Marketability and Access Agreement (GEMAA), which is currently in effect, and the Data Use and Compensation Agreement (DUCA), which is still in development. While the agreement is contractually binding among signatories, LaVigne noted that ASTA’s signing of the agreement does not bind any of its individual members to the agreement. Individual companies can choose to participate in the GEMAA by signing the agreement independently. 

More information about The Accord can be found at