31 Mar 2011

DNA latest weapon against illegal use of seeds

1:47 pm on 31 March 2011

Plant breeders say they have got a new weapon in the war against the illegal use of seeds.

The New Zealand Plant Breeding and Research Association says the new DNA technology can clearly identify seed lines and determine their true ownership.

Chairperson John Caradus says plant breeders are losing millions of dollars a year from having their seeds ripped off and unlawfully sold.

Mr Cardus says growers who illegally produce proprietary seeds should not be allowed to cheat plant breeders by not paying them royalties.

The DNA technology is available to use now and seed owners will begin testing on a wide range of rye grasses currently on the market, he says.