Companies in the Alliance have agreed to regulate themselves by setting quality control standards for all varieties. Those varieties that meet the standards will be approved and their bags labeled with an “Alliance Approved” sticker (see below). Testing is through Agrinostics.
The first standard is seed purity. All seed lots must be 95 percent pure, which means only 5 percent can be off-types, such as toxic Kentucky 31. In addition, all seed lots must have 70 percent viable (live) endophyte. This is an important standard, because the endophyte can die in storage, even though it is present in the most of the seeds. The Alliance standard of 70 percent ensures that seed from each company has the potential to result in highly infected fields.
Two other standards are animal safety and plant persistence. The specifics of these standards have not yet been worked out completely. However, in order to approve a new variety, the Alliance will require some type of independent confirmation that the variety does not cause toxicosis but will persists in a grazed pasture.