American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) President and CEO Andrew W. LaVigne released the following statement on the recent announcement by the U.S. Attorney General about individuals charged with conspiring to steal seed and trade secrets of several U.S.-based seed manufacturing companies:

“The American Seed Trade Association is deeply concerned by the action that has led to the arrest of individuals conspiring to steal and export seed products, seed technology and trade secrets developed by U.S. agriculture companies.  ASTA has long supported innovation in the U.S. seed and agriculture industry, and the protection of intellectual property rights for these inventions and their inventors.”

“We are extremely pleased to see that the matter at hand is being taken seriously by the U.S. government.  The swift action sends the message that no matter the nationality, either domestic or international, this practice is unacceptable.”

“With a population that is expected to reach over 9 billion people in the next several decades, the agriculture sector and its customers will continue to rely upon plant breeding, research and product development to meet the growing world demands for food, feed, fuel and fiber.”