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In August 2009, the US Department of Justice (DoJ), together with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a series of workshops intended to “explore competition and regulatory issues in the agriculture industry”. - Agriculture and Antitrust Enforcement Issues in Our 21st Century Economy – will enquire into agriculture and into the dairy, poultry and livestock industries. One of several workshops that has been scheduled will take place in Iowa and address “…seed technology, vertical integration, market transparency and buyer power”.
These hearings will ask if mergers and acquisitions have reduced competition in the US seed industry. While this enquiry is US centric, CAS-IP, in its role to assist the CGIAR and its constituency of resource-poor farmers, argues that the availability of seed to poor farmers is critical to current and future food security. This is no longer a national issue, and the food security of developing nations is of great concern to the US and to other developed nations.