Americans for Choice and Competition in Agriculture, a coalition dedicated to increased choice and competition in the multi-trait seed marketplace, was launched in Des Moines, Iowa, earlier this month.
In announcing the organization, Charles “Chuck” Larson, the organization’s executive director, contended there isn’t a clear pathway for innovation and agricultural improvements from seed traits that come off patent so that yet-to-be developed, multi-trait seeds have a way to reach the marketplace.
“Americans for Choice and Competition in Agriculture is an additional and distinctive voice on a critical issue (seed traits) to agriculture and will begin a dialogue about the best ways to deliver increased competition and innovation for farmers to help boost U.S. economic growth, grow exports, and solve the looming global food crisis,” Larson said.
Larson is a former Iowa State senator and U.S. ambassador to Latvia; therefore, he has a diverse perspective on world economics, politics and agriculture.
Completely consistent with the goal of the organization and further explained in an editorial, Larson wrote about allowing the American farmer to provide food for the world. He wrote, “Now is the time to start talking about America’s economic future and how we will accommodate this global population growth. We cannot afford to wait.”
The announcement of the organization said it will promote three principles with regard to the seed marketplace: “respect for intellectual property; robust opportunities for seed companies to include generic traits in new combinations of multi-trait seeds for the benefit of farmers and post-patent competition; and the removal of unintended or artificial barriers to the creation of multi-trait seeds that contain generic traits once a patent has expired.”
“For American farmers to meet increasing global food demands, we need comprehensive and timely solutions to the problems that threaten the future of agriculture,” said Larson. “Americans for Choice and Competition in Agriculture stands for choice, competition, and innovation – choice that allows farmers to determine what seeds work best for them; vigorous competition among agricultural businesses that brings beneficial products and increased value to the multi-trait seed marketplace; and innovations to ensure American farmers will succeed in feeding the world—both now and in the future.”
Exactly how the organization is going to function and accomplish its goals and who must be recruited to be part of the organization has not been explained, although any and all levels of people and professions are welcome from all early information.
Two former political leaders, according to the organization, have been recruited to bring “expansive knowledge” by way of advisorship. They are former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and former six-term Minnesota U.S. Representative Vin Weber.
Addditional information can be found at the Web site, http://www.agchoice.org/.