Biodynamic and IFOAM Plant Breeding Rules
(DEMETER International International and Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement)
Seeds and plant material (IFOAM Norms 2014)
4.1.2 Seeds and plant materials shall be propagated under organic management for one generation, in the case of annuals, and for perennials, two growing periods, or 18 months, whichever is the longer, before being certified as organic seed and plant material.
4.8 Breeding of organic varieties Explanatory Note: This section refers to breeding of organic varieties, not simply use or production of organic seeds from regular (conventional) varieties.
Organic plant breeding and variety development is sustainable, enhances genetic diversity and relies on natural reproductive ability. It aims for new varieties particularly suited for organic production systems. Organic breeding is always creative, cooperative and open for science, intuition, and new findings. Organic plant breeding is a holistic approach that respects natural crossing barriers. Organic plant breeding is based on fertile plants that can establish a viable relationship with the living soil. Organic varieties are obtained by an organic plant breeding program.
4.8.1 To produce organic varieties, plant breeders shall select their varieties under organic conditions that comply with the requirements of this standard. All selection practices except meristem culture shall be under certified organic management.
4.8.2 Organic plant breeders shall develop organic varieties only on the basis of genetic material that has not been contaminated by products of genetic engineering.
4.8.3 Organic plant breeders shall disclose the applied breeding techniques. Organic plant breeders shall make the information about the methods, which were used to develop an organic variety, available for the public latest from the beginning of marketing of the seeds.
4.8.4 The genome is respected as an impartible entity. Technical interventions into the genome of plants are not allowed (e.g. ionizing radiation; transfer of isolated DNA, RNA, or proteins).
4.8.5 The cell is respected as an impartible entity. Technical interventions into an isolated cell on an artificial medium are not allowed (e.g. genetic engineering techniques; destruction of cell walls and disintegration of cell nuclei through cytoplast fusion).
4.8.6 The natural reproductive ability of a plant variety is respected and maintained. This excludes techniques that reduce or inhibit the germination capacities (e.g. terminator technologies).
Biodynamic Approach (in addition to IFOAM Rules)
- All breeding steps under certified biodynamic farming
- Respect plant as a living organism
- Respect farm as a living organism & as an Individuality
- Holistic feed and food quality evaluation
- Owner and authorship: Seeds as a common property and the breeder as originator
- Participation: social & economic integration of plant breeding in the whole food chain.