Counterfeiting and Intellectual Property


Counterfeiting of plant science products is a growing problem. The volume of counterfeit products, such as pesticides, bears a range of detrimental effects for the industry, farmers, national economies and the environment.

The negative impact of counterfeits includes:

  1. Economic risk for the farmer; potential loss of harvest due to use of an ineffective counterfeit product
  2. Discouragement to honest local entrepreneurs from investing in legitimate product development
  3. Hampering of investment, employment, technology transfer and tax revenues
  4. The use of illegal products may lead to serious negative effects on health and environment as counterfeit products are not tested for health and safety (whereas legal products are extensively tested before they are authorized and it has fulfill strict requirements)
  5. Risk that buyers of export crops will ban imports because of the use of counterfeit pesticides hampering trade

Anti-counterfeiting_300Ultimately, the effect of counterfeiting is to eliminate the incentive for plant science companies to continue to invest considerable time and money in the development of new technologies that can help assure global food security and alleviate hunger and poverty. Furthermore, the defective nature of counterfeit pesticides and lack of stewardship risks the health and safety of workers, and creates serious environmental hazards.

The plant science industry is committed to innovate and deliver highly regulated products to the world’s farmers and thereby increase food security. Improved scrutiny by police, customs and regulators of the implementation and enforcement of intellectual property rights, and more transparency in the international trade of pesticides and active ingredients, is essential to sustain the incentive to innovate and ensure that the products are traded and used in a safe, responsible manner.

Intellectual Property

Agricultural innovation plays a key role in driving long-term agricultural productivity, rural development, and environmental sustainability by encouraging innovation and the creation of new solutions. To this end, innovation needs to be encouraged, supported, and protected.

The plant science industry is one of the world’s most research and development-intensive industries. It ranks in the top four global industries in terms of percentage of sales invested in research and development. For example, the industry’s top 10 companies invest approximately 7.5 percent of revenues into the research and development of cutting edge products in crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and plant biotechnology. All of these products aim to improve sustainable agricultural production.

Therefore, the adherence to Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) is an essential basis for innovation and progress in the plant science industry.

  1. Intellectual property protection is necessary to encourage continued investment in research and development, and to ensure the plant science industry maintains its strong innovative base
  2. Patents form the cornerstone of intellectual property protection
  3. The protection of regulatory data and confidential business information for both crop protection and biotechnology inventions are important to support innovation and development

Our industry is committed to sustainable agriculture through innovative research and technology, and through continual improvement of existing products.