Bayer joins USDA seed programme

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Carl Collen

BY CARL COLLEN

Bayer joins USDA seed programme

Vegetable Seeds division agrees to screen imported seeds with diagnostic testing

Bayer joins USDA seed programme

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The Vegetable Seeds division of Bayer has joined the National Seed Health Accreditation Pilot Program (NSHAPP) in the US.

Under NSHAPP, Bayer Vegetable Seeds has committed to test all imported cucumber, melon, and watermelon seed lots, from breeder and foundation seeds through to commercial seeds.

The goal of the NSHAPP includes developing a model for a voluntary system of testing seed imported into the US for pathogens of phytosanitary concern. According to the programme’s website, the initiative was created in response to detection of foreign pathogens in the US.

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) has partnered with the seed industry to screen imported seeds with diagnostic testing to prevent the introduction of seed-transmitted pathogens.

The cucurbit pathogen Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV) will serve as the first pathogen to be tested under this programme.

“We at Bayer want our customers to know that we are committed to quality in every way," said Brad Peters, quality control manager. "Being a part of this pilot means that we are a part of building a better system to minimise phytosanitary risk. By working together with the USDA-APHIS we will further improve our quality management systems, providing a reliable supply of disease-free seed for our customers”.

All testing will be performed according to the official ISTA-approved methodology, under Bayer’s existing NAL (Naktuinbouw) laboratory certification.

Testing results are reported to the National Seed Health Coordinator at the National Seed Health System (NSHS) Administration Unit, and all lots with a positive test result must be destroyed or re-exported. The USDA-APHIS will use the bulk data collected to improve the management of phytosanitary risk from CGMMV, and potentially other seed-borne pathogens in the future.

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