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Poster: Professionalism Outreach: Outreach & Engagement


National Seed Health System: standardizing seed health practices in the United States for seed exports
N. GONZALEZ (1), T. Bruns (1), G. Munkvold (2) (1) Iowa State University, U.S.A.; (2) Iowa State University, U.S.A.

The U.S. National Seed Health System (NSHS) is a program authorized by USDA-APHIS and administered by the Iowa State University Seed Science Center in Ames, Iowa. NSHS provides accreditation to non-government entities to perform certain activities needed to support phytosanitary certification for the international movement of seed, and conducts peer review of protocols for approval as standard phytosanitary seed health testing methods. NSHS is governed by a Policy and Procedures Advisory Board in collaboration with the USDA-APHIS Seed Health Accreditation Manager and the National Plant Board Council/PPQ Strategy Team. Currently, there are 19 entities accredited by NSHS to perform field inspections, seed sampling and/or the seed health testing necessary to obtain phytosanitary certificates for exporting seeds. These organizations include private seed companies, state crop improvement associations and private testing labs. NSHS has been operating since 2001 and has approved 86 methods as standards for testing seeds for 66 different pathogens within a range of vegetable and field crops. NSHS works closely with international organizations to harmonize seed health testing methods that are accepted around the globe for phytosanitary certification. The standardization of seed health methods and practices increases confidence in the health status of US seed exports and facilitates safe and efficient international movement of seed for research and commercial purposes.