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Food Safety

Plant genetic resources

The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture is the global framework for access to agricultural plant genetic resources in force since 29 June 2004.

The EU and all EU Member States have ratified it.

An important part of the Treaty is the standard Material Transfer Agreement (sMTA) for access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing if products arising from this material are commercialised.

The sMTA was adopted in 2006.

The Treaty includes over 1.5 million samples with 444,000 transfers with the sMTA per year.

Specific less strict EU requirements apply for traditional old varieties facing extinction.

See Conservation varieties