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CONCENTRATION IN THE SEED INDUSTRY LEADS TO LESS CHOICE,
HIGHER PRICES FOR U.S. FARMERS
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 9, 2009

Contacts:
Kristina Hubbard, Farmer to Farmer, 406-544-8946, kristina.hubbard@gmail.com
Bill Wenzel, Farmer to Farmer, 608-444-0292, bwenzel2@aol.com
Todd Leake, North Dakota farmer, 701-594-4275
Paul Rozwadowski, Wisconsin farmer, 715-644-5079

American farmers are feeling the effects of a concentrated seed industry. Seed options are diminishing while prices increase at historic rates. A new report, Out of hand: Farmers face the consequences of a consolidated seed industry, examines these troubling trends, substantiating the U.S. Department of Justice's investigation into alleged anticompetitive conduct in the seed industry.

"Farmers are facing fewer choices and significantly higher prices in seed," says Kristina
Hubbard, author of the report. "Seed options narrow when a handful of companies
dominate the marketplace." Discussions on seed industry concentration typically center on the dominant firm, the Monsanto Company, which achieved the No. 1 position by capturing the markets for most major crops through a series of acquisitions and mergers. Monsanto accounts for 60 percent of the corn and soybean seed market through direct seed sales and seed trait licensing agreements with other companies. Monsanto's biotechnology traits are planted on more than 90 percent of U.S. soybean acreage and more than 80 percent of U.S. corn acreage.

The report outlines events that led to extensive concentration, including weak antitrust
law enforcement and Supreme Court decisions that allowed genetically engineered crops and other plant products to be patented. These factors have created unprecedented ownership and control over plant genetic resources in major field crops.

"We are encouraged that the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Justice have launched a joint investigation into anticompetitive practices in agriculture," says Bill Wenzel, national director of the Farmer to Farmer Campaign on Genetic Engineering. "We believe this report will shed light on the severe negative impacts that these practices have had on producers and provide insight on what changes in policy are necessary to protect farmers' rights and interests."

To read the full press release, or download the report, visit www.farmertofarmercampaign.org.

The Farmer to Farmer Campaign on a Genetic Engineering is a national network of farm organizations that serve as a voice for family farmers on agricultural biotechnology
issues. Farmer to Farmer seeks to build a farmer driven campaign focused on concerns
around agricultural biotechnology and to provide a national forum for farmers on these
issues.

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National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC), founded in 1986, unites and strengthens the voices and actions of its diverse grassroots members to demand viable livelihoods for family farmers, safe and healthy food for everyone, and economically and environmentally sound rural communities.


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