In recent years, plant breeders' rights (PBR) has become a controversial subj ect worldwide. This paper reports the results of a survey of the seed distribution industries in the nine member countries of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) as well as the seed trade in the United States (U.S . ) and Canada. The general consensus of the UPOV members was that PBR had resulted in increased private investment in plant breeding and that there had been a shift toward more basic research in the public sector. The findings in the U.S. were similar except that there the changes were perceived to be more crop specific with less funding available for public sector research. In Canada, the major concern centered around the potential effects of PBR legislation with strong arguments both for and against being put forward. The introduction of PBR into Canada would likely have neither strong positive nor strong negative economic effects on the grain and oilseeds sectors, particularly in the prairie grain growing region.