Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and AgricultureSenate Consideration of Treaty Document 110-19
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[Senate Treaty Document 110-19] [From the U.S. Government Publishing Office] 110th Congress 2d Session SENATE Treaty Doc. 110-19 _______________________________________________________________________ TREATY ON PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES FOR FOOD AND AGRICULTURE __________ MESSAGE from THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES transmitting INTERNATIONAL TREATY ON PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES FOR FOOD AND AGRICULTURE, ADOPTED BY THE FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS ON NOVEMBER 3, 2001, AND SIGNED BY THE UNITED STATES ON NOVEMBER 1, 2002 (THE ``TREATY'') July 7, 2008.--Treaty was read the first time, and together with the accompanying papers, referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations and ordered to be printed for the use of the Senate LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL ---------- The White House, July 7, 2008. To the Senate of the United States: I transmit herewith for advice and consent of the Senate to ratification the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, adopted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations on November 3, 2001, and signed by the United States on November I, 2002 (the ``Treaty''). The Treaty entered into force in June 2004. The centerpiece of the Treaty is the establishment of a multilateral system under which a party provides access to other parties, upon request, to listed plant genetic resources held in national genebanks. These resources are to be used solely for purposes of research, breeding, and training in agriculture. A recipient of such a resource must then share the benefits from its use, e.g., a recipient who commercializes a product containing an accessed plant genetic resource must generally pay a percentage of any gross sales into a trust account. Transfers under the multilateral system are to be accompanied by a standard material transfer agreement, the current version of which was concluded in June 2006. Provision of plant genetic resources from u.s. genebanks is fully consistent with the Department of Agriculture's long- standing general practice of providing access to such plant genetic resources upon request. Ratification of the Treaty will provide u.s. agricultural interests with similar access to other parties' genebanks, thus helping u.s. farmers and researchers sustain and improve their crops and promote food security. The Treaty may be implemented under existing U.S. authorities. I also transmit, for the information of the Senate, the report of the Department of State concerning the Treaty, which contains an understanding regarding Article 12. George W. Bush. LETTER OF SUBMITTAL ---------- Department of State, Washington, February 11, 2008. The President, The White House. The President: I have the honor to submit to you, with a view to its transmittal to the Senate for advice and consent to ratification, the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, adopted by the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations on November 3, 2001 (the ``Treaty''), and signed by the United States on November 1, 2002. The Treaty establishes a system of access to plant genetic resources held in a Party's national gene banks with concomitant sharing of benefits by the recipient arising trom their use. It also commits Parties to promote the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources integral to global food security. Throughout the complex negotiations, the United States was firmly committed to creating a system that promotes U.S. and global food security and protects U.S. access to genetic resources held outside of our borders. All interested agencies in the Executive Branch favor ratification of the Treaty, which can be implemented under existing authorities. I recommend, therefore, that the Treaty be transmitted to the Senate as soon as possible for its advice and consent to ratification. Respectfully submitted. Condolezza Rice. Enclosures: As stated.