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In this issue:
ASTA Applauds FDA's Decision on GE Labeling Petition 
On Thursday, November 19, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its decision to reject a petition calling for mandatory labeling of foods made with genetically engineered (GE) organisms. 

"We applaud the FDA's decision to stand up for science and reject calls for mandatory labeling of GE foods," said ASTA President and CEO Andrew LaVigne.  "The FDA has made it clear--as it did in its 1992 policy--that there is insufficient evidence to suggest that foods derived from GE organisms differ from foods derived from non-GE organisms in any meaningful way, or that they present any greater safety concerns.  ASTA continues to support voluntary labeling and the U.S. government's use of sound science in agriculture policies."
Innovation in Plant Breeding Working Group Meets in D.C.
Members of ASTA's Innovation in Plant Breeding Working Group gathered in Washington, D.C. November
16-17 for meetings with Administration officials and Members of Congress to 
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discuss plant breeding priorities, including the Administration's announced intention to review the Coordinated Framework. 

The Working Group reiterated ASTA's support for consistent and science-based policies to enable farmers and consumers around the world to benefit from the most precise and efficient breeding methods. ASTA's comments to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) as part of its recent public comment period can be found here

ASTA's CSS 2015 will include a number of sessions on the topic of innovations in plant breeding, including Next Generation Genetic and Breeding Solutions and Breeding Solutions for Product Development. Consult the full agenda for details.
Don't miss the Innovations Lounge at CSS! 
The all-new ASTA Innovations Lounge will make its debut at CSS 2015 and Seed Expo in Chicago!  Sponsored by SGS, the lounge will feature a series of presentations on the latest products and services for the seed industry.  The area will also showcase graduate student poster presentations from across North America, a Future Seed Executives (FuSE) exhibit, open tables for networking appointments, refreshments and much more.  Stop by on Thursday, December 10 for a chance to win prizes including a $500 Visa gift card!

Also, be sure to visit the Seed Expo on Thursday, December 10 for our " Seed the Future " complimentary lunch reception.  Vote for your favorite student posters and be entered for a chance to win a $300 Visa gift card!
ASTA Management Academy set for March 2016
The 2016 ASTA Management Academy is set for March 7-11 in West Lafayette, Indiana.  A partnership between ASTA and Purdue University's Center for Food and Agricultural Business, the program focuses on the practical application of general management concepts that are critical to the long-term success of seed companies.

The academy includes core management courses and a set of special-issue seminars that will 
offer an in-depth look at current topics critical to the seed industry.  Attendees--whether experienced decision-makers or professionals new to the industry--will sharpen leadership and decision-making skills through a broad-based selection of managerial courses, engaging faculty-led sessions, interactive exercises and small-group discussions.  Program content includes marketing management, organizational leadership, financial management, and strategic management-all tailored specifically for the
seed industry.

For more information visit the website.  ASTA members receive a discounted registration rate.
International Seed News Update
ASTA Awarded USDA Cooperator Grant
ASTA has been awarded increased funding under USDA's Cooperator Grant Program for 2016.  The funding--under the Market Access and Foreign Market Development programs--is critical to ASTA's international efforts.   ASTA thanks all of its members that provide strategic input and in-kind support for the association's international efforts.   Your support has increased the American seed industry's impact overseas, which translates into increased funding for future programs.

Asia and Pacific Seed Association host Annual Seed Congress
ASTA representatives attended the Asia and Pacific Seed Association's Annual Seed Congress, November 17-19 in Goa, India.   At the meeting, the Asia and Pacific Seed Association adopted a regional intellectual property position.  While ASTA supports the inclusion of language encouraging all countries within the region to adopt UPOV 1991, the association voiced concerns about the final language in the position paper regarding patents, and will continue to engage in discussions regarding this matter.

Ukraine Agriculture Representatives to Attend ASTA's CSS
ASTA is sponsoring the attendance of two senior level government officials from the Ukraine at CSS 2015 & Seed Expo in Chicago.  Deputy Head of Agricultural Inspection Mr. Yuriy Zastavnuy and Head of the Plant Department, Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food Mr. Vladimir Topchiy will attend CSS December 7 - 11.  If you are interested in arranging a meeting with the Ukrainian officials, contact Michelle Klieger
Partner News: NCCPB Announces Public Breeder Award
The National Council of Commercial Plant Breeders (NCCPB) has named Dr. James Kelly  as the recipient of the 2015 NCCPB Public Breeder Award.  Dr. Kelly is a distinguished professor at Michigan State University's Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences. He will be recognized at the Opening General Session of ASTA's CSS 2015 in Chicago, Dec. 8.

The Public Breeder Award recognizes a person who has made outstanding contributions to the advancement of plant breeding and genetics in the public sector.

Seeding Success


It's your membership and financial support that allows ASTA to do this work and get you the information you need. Please encourage other seed industry colleagues to join ASTA and contribute to the success of the industry.

American Seed Trade Association 

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