Submit comments to USDA through May 16, 2022
On March 11, the USDA launched an inquiry into public concerns regarding seeds and other agricultural inputs. In particular, the USDA is seeking information related to competition concerns in the commercial seed trade as they relate to intellectual property rights (IPR), including potential impacts IPR has on public plant breeders, tribal seed stewards, and society’s ability to respond to climate change. This inquiry stems from a July 9, 2021, Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy.
OSA is putting together comments to support the USDA’s examination of these concerns and we strongly encourage YOU to submit your own comments as well. In particular, the USDA is looking for firsthand experiences and examples of problems in the categories of Concentration and Market Power; Intellectual Property Rights; Information Resources, Policies, and Programs; and Business Practices and Other Competition Matters.
- Are you a seed company with firsthand experience of problematic conduct in the seed industry that makes it difficult for you to compete? Have certain mergers impacted contracts, licensing, and/or pricing, or affected competition in other ways?
- Do current IPR tools and strategies impact your access to germplasm for breeding, research, or commercial purposes?
- Are you aware of problematic patents on seeds that the USDA should be made aware of?
- Are you aware of inappropriate strategies being employed to extend the duration of a patents?
- If you are a grower or plant breeder, do you have access to adequate information and education to understand IPR protections associated with seed you are sourcing in the marketplace?
- How does seed industry concentration and IPR strategies impact regional seed needs, the needs of tribal and underserved communities, and organic producers. How does concentration and IPR strategies impact growers’ ability to manage risk caused by climate change?
Read the USDA’s entire public inquiry, which includes 25 detailed questions to help guide comments.
Please contact us if you have information to share in response to this USDA inquiry. We are happy to keep comments anonymous.
The USDA is accepting comments through May 16, 2022 at this link. Please make your voice heard.