Friday, February 4, 2011

“This is no longer just a seed certification problem. The problem now affects all aspects of potato production.”

“We’re at a tipping point. We don’t see a lot of necrotic strains when we do our surveys but they are there. If we do nothing, we will end up in the same situation as Europe.”


  1. @Meade

    re: Potato Sex

    As a follow-up to your previous "racy" comment thread I thought I should alert you and your readers to the fact that potato plants reproduce asexually. For this reason new strains of potato are considered unpatentable subject matter by the US Patent And Trademark Office. Link.

  2. Title 35 United States Code, Section 161 states:

    Whoever invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant, including cultivated sports, mutants, hybrids, and newly found seedlings, other than a tuber propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of title. (Amended September 3, 1954, 68 Stat. 1190). Link

  3. So I was wrong in my first comment: it's not because it reproduces asexually- it's an outright statutory bar.

  4. Thanks, chickelit, for all the information, disinformation, misinformation, and, finally, information information. Let no man assert (with validity) that freedom of speech at Sweety Meadey Potato is suppressed, repressed, depressed, or even, in any way - sexually, asexually, or otherwise... pressed.

  5. I would still like to know why new strains of potato plants are barred from patentability. I guess the answer is buried back in 1950s era case law.

  6. Cecil?

    Do you pronounce that "See-sill" or the British way: "Cess-ill"?