Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association Purpose

OSGATA develops, protects and promotes the organic seed trade and its growers, and assures that the organic community has access to excellent quality organic seed, free of contaminants and adapted to the diverse needs of local organic agriculture.


OSGATA Policy on Principles of Organic Plant Breeding

Preamble. Seed is the foundation of crop agriculture. Therefore, establishing principles of organic plant breeding is essential to the integrity of organic systems.

1. Respects Plant Integrity. Organic plant breeding is a process which occurs at the plant level and respects the integrity of plants. It is free of genetic manipulation or other techniques at the sub-cellular level.

2. Supports Genetic Diversity. Organic plant breeding maintains or enhances on-farm genetic diversity as opposed to fostering crop monoculture.

3. Remains Farm Centered. Organic plant breeding must be farm-centric in that a given genetic technique must be of such a nature that it could be performed in a farm setting as opposed to a laboratory.

4. Honors the Public Domain. The ownership of seed resulting from organic plant breeding resides within the public domain.


OSGATA Policy on Organic Seed Contaminated by Genetically Engineered (GE) Seed

GE contamination of organic seed constitutes irreparable harm to the organic seed industry and undermines the integrity of organic seed. Crops grown from contaminated seed will ultimately yield a contaminated product.  Any detectable level is unacceptable.


OSGATA Policy on GE Contamination of Seed Used in Organic Production Under Commercial Availability Exemption

Non-organic seed of varieties at-risk of GE contamination, used in organic production, must be demonstrated to be free of detectable GE content. Any detectable level is unacceptable.

Our Code of Ethics
1. No Member shall knowingly deal in products that are falsely labeled organic or represented as such, nor engage in any advertising that is false or misleading.

2. Given the risk of contamination and/or commingling of germplasm from genetically engineered organisms with organic seed stock, along with the potential weakening of end user confidence in organic seed integrity from such contamination, no member shall knowingly grow, sell, distribute, or breed GE (Genetically Engineered) seeds or products.

3. All members shall cooperate in the development of the market for organic seed and compete with each other in an honest and friendly fashion.

4. All members shall cooperate in the development of an organic seed system which enhances life and health, is ecologically and economically sustainable, and gives a fair return and dignity to its producers, handlers and merchants.

5. A Member in his/ her personal conduct and in his/ her contacts with customers and the public should not behave in a manner which brings discredit to OSGATA or himself/ herself.



P.O. Box 1502
Biddeford, ME 04005
Phone: 207-429-9765


OSGATA needs your support! Please help us in our work of protecting and developing the organic seed trade! Click here to find out more:

Donate to OSGATA

Membership Benefits

-Cross promotion of member products and services

-Political action updates and lobbying services, on state and federal level

-Access to members only listserv for networking and sharing seed industry information

-OSGATA’s regular Seed for Thought newsletter

Become a Member