From: Legislative Aide to Delegate Lynwood Lewis [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 2:58 PM
To: ATR-Agricultural Workshops
Subject: Letter from Delegate Lynwood Lewis
To Whom It May Concern:
Please see attachment of a letter from Delegate Lynwood Lewis of Virginia's 100th district. I apologize in advance for this not coming from an official government e-mail, however, our account has been experiencing technical difficulties. Also note that two copies of this letter have been sent by mail.
December 30, 2009
Legal Policy Section
U.S. Department of Justice
450 5th Street, NW.
Washington, DC 20001
To Whom It May Concern: This letter is a comment submission for the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and the United States Department of Agriculture's joint public workshop series, beginning in Iowa on March 12, 2010.
I was raised on a farm where soybeans and corn were the main crop. For a few years I farmed myself and have therefore witnessed first hand the revolution of biotech on agriculture. The area I represent is one of the largest agricultural regions in the Commonwealth of Virginia and biotech seeds have been tremendously important to this essential part of my region's economy and culture. My concern with the future of agriculture includes service on Agriculture Committee of the Virginia House of Delegates.
Since the first commercial biotech crops were grown in 1996, plant biotechnology has been rapidly adopted by farmers. Increasingly, farmers are now planting biotech seeds because of the clear benefits they bring. Insect resistance and herbicide tolerance or a combination of the two have had tremendous benefits. Farmers are enthusiastic about what the future may hold
These technologies, in combination with modern plant breeding success, better fertilizer technologies and improved irrigation systems among other innovations, are the true hope we all can rely on to feed a hungry world and provide a important, safe, and reliable food source for our Country.
Today's seed industry is more dynamic and innovative than ever. There is more competition in the marketplace than any other time in the history of agriculture.
Each season, farmers turn to the marketplace to choose seed products - this motivates seed companies to offer the best new seed products every year as they strive to earn farmers' business. The famers make independent choices in selecting seed products that they believe will give them the greatest yields and greatest profit from their farms. Agricultural research has produced seeds that deliver optimal results for farmers.
Agricultural research has delivered great results over the last century, increasing yields and lifting millions of people out of poverty and hunger. Intellectual property plays a fundamental role in the promotion of agricultural research and innovation. Intellectual property protection is necessary to reward innovation and ensure the plant science industry maintains its strong science base and continues to innovate. Consistent and adequate intellectual property protection is essential to the ongoing development of newer and more sophisticated products and technologies to better serve farmers' needs and ultimately benefit consumers.