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Crop Biotech Update

ISF Urges Governments to Continue Facilitating Seed Movement without Restrictions under COVID-19 Pandemic

July 8, 2020

In March, the International Seed Federation (ISF) sought the support of governments around the world to facilitate the international movement of seed under the COVID-19 crisis and not to impose restrictive measures to avoid disrupting the agriculture supply chain. In a new statement, the ISF reinforces this call to assure the world that seed breeders and producers are taking every necessary precaution to prioritize food safety, especially during these challenging times.

The ISF statement emphasizes that there is no evidence that people can contract COVID-19 from food, including seed or from food packaging, citing the World Health Organization (WHO) in its guidelines for food business which says the following: "It is highly unlikely that people can contract COVID-19 from food or food packaging. COVID-19 is a respiratory illness and the primary transmission route is through person-to-person contact and through direct contact with respiratory droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes. There is no evidence to date of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses being transmitted via food or food packaging. Coronaviruses cannot multiply in food; they need an animal or human host to multiply."

The ISF states that unjustified measures do result in the disruption of international seed trade and closing borders or even slowing down the transboundary movement of seeds could create a significant problem in the seed and food supply chain.

For more details, read the ISF statement.

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