Biotech Updates

US Joins the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

March 15, 2017

The United States has become a member of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, joining 142 countries in this groundbreaking instrument that works to strengthen global food security by promoting the conservation, sharing, and sustainable use of agricultural plant genetic resources.

In a ceremony held at the UN FAO's Rome headquarters on March 13, 2017, Director-General José Graziano da Silva and Thomas M. Duffy, Chargé d'Affaires ad interim of the U.S. Embassy in Rome, marked the entry into force of the treaty for the US. "The United States looks forward to working with U.S. stakeholders and international partners to continue to strengthen the Treaty to conserve the resources needed for agricultural productivity, resilience and food security," said Duffy.

The Treaty's centerpiece is its "Multilateral System" that facilitates access to a globe-spanning collection of plant genetic resources, exclusively for use in research, breeding and training efforts. Prior to the United States, the Multilateral System covered over 1.5 million crop accessions. The United States has more than 576,600 documented crop accessions, and these will now become more widely available under the Multilateral System.

For more details, read the news article at the FAO website.