CSTA Praises International Statement in Support of Plant Breeding Innovation

November 5, 2018
CSTA Praises International Statement in Support of Plant Breeding Innovation

Ottawa, Ontario: November 5, 2018 – On October 30, 2018, Canada joined like-minded countries in signing the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) International Statement on Agricultural Applications of Precision Biotechnology. The Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA) applauds the effort and supports continued global coordination on biotechnology. The WTO’s statement refers to the the benefits that biotechnology, including gene editing, can provide to society. Specifically, it states, “precision biotechnology techniques, as a whole, constitute an essential tool for agricultural innovation. Their use provides farmers with access to products that increase productivity while preserving environmental sustainability.” The full text can be found here.

“WTO’s statement demonstrates a worldwide recognition of the critical role that plant breeding techniques play in global food production,” said CSTA Executive Director, Dave Carey. “Seed is the first link in the agri-food value chain and innovative techniques are required now more than ever to meet the growing demand for high-quality food and feed that is produced in an efficient and sustainable manner.”

The statement was released at the WTO Committee on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures in Geneva. To date, the following countries and organizations have endorsed this statement: Argentina, leading this effort, as well as Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Jordan, Paraguay, the United States, Uruguay, Vietnam and the Secretariat of the Economic Community of West African States.

“CSTA congratulates the Canadian government for continuing to show leadership and support of policies that foster science-based developments, particularly those around evolving plant breeding methods,” continued Carey. “With the world’s ever expanding population and the rapid evolution of challenges in agriculture, including new pests and diseases and climate change, it is more important than ever that we work collaboratively on a global scale to find solutions that are reinforced by science.”

For more information on plant breeding, including evolving methods like gene editing, visit: seedinginnovation.org.


The Canadian Seed Trade Association is the national voice of more than 130 seed company members engaged in all aspects of seed research, production and marketing and trade, both domestically and internationally. Learn more about CSTA at seedinnovation.ca. Follow us on Twitter @SeedInnovation.