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Crop Biotech Update

Pakistan Senate Ag Committee Approves Amendments to Seed Act

July 8, 2015

The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) released a report on the amendments to the 1976 Seed Act of Pakistan approved by Senate Agriculture Committee. The full Senate will cast their votes when it reconvenes in the next few months.

Aside from the Seed Act, the Government of Pakistan is also reviewing the Plant Breeder's Rights Act, which would strengthen IP protection and the Biosafety Act which would emphasize the role of the government in regulating biotech products. The key provisions include:

  • The amendments would bring the private sector under the purview of the Seed Act;
  • Aspiring individuals or companies to join the seed industry must have a seed processing plant or register as a seed dealer;
  • Sale of seeds without registration or sale of misbranded seeds would be subject to imprisonment or fine;
  • Biotech seeds may not contain the gene that disallows replanting of the crop, but is not deployed in commercial crops;
  • Biotech seeds must be approved by the National Biosafety Committee to be safe for the environment, humans, animals, and plants.
Download the complete report from USDA FAS.