EU and other, Seed Laws

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EU and other, Seed Laws

Post by GrannyGrottbags » Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:23 pm


Quick Start (full details under this box)
In 2012 a terrible new seed law was drawn up by the European Commission (unelected civil servants in Brussels). If passed, it will hugely restrict the vegetable varieties that can be sold.

The only people who had any input into drafting this law were large multi-national businesses who supplied 'technical experts' to 'help' them write the law, which is why it completely ignored the needs of small farmers and home growers, or even just common sense.

Where are we now?
At the start of December, the law was reviewed for the first time by the MEPs (your elected representatives in the European Parliament) on the ENVIRONMENT and AGRICULTURE committees.

Your letters have REALLY helped...
Quite often the MEPs will just rubber stamp whatever the Commission has proposed and get on to the next bit of work due that day.

However, due to the huge amount of public objection - all your letters and emails and calls - the MEPs have realised that there is a problem and the law cannot be passed as it is, and several objected to the law at its first reading.

Chair of the committee: "I've had so much trouble from this. Quite frankly this law belongs in the trash ..."

What we have been up to...
Together with many NGOs and independent seed companies across the EU, in the background we have been intensely lobbying all these MEPs, to make sure they understand why it is so bad and what needs changing.

We have also been working with DEFRA - the UKGovernment regulator of the seed industry - who have been really helpful and supportive. They too want to protect the UK seed industry, and make sure UK gardeners have access to whatever plants they wish to grow.

Together with DEFRA, the various NGOs and independent seed houses are asking for a total exemption from the law for seed for home gardeners and small growers, and several of the UK MEPs support this idea.

NEWS Dec 20th - MEPs suggest thousands of changes!
The MEPs are allowed to propose small changes to the laws that the commission proposes. The list of amendments for this law has just been released and incredibly there are 1144 detailed alterations, deletions and additions suggested from MEPs of every political affiliation.

This is amazing - and it shows that the campaign has really had an effect.

What Next?
Its not clear how this will go. The thousands of suggested changes are not all compatible with each other, and even spending just 10 minutes discussing each one would take forever. We also know that several groups of MEPs are planning to reject the whole thing entirely as unfixable, and we have told that letters from UK gardeners have been instrumental in making this happen.

In mid- January the MEPs will be meeting again to decide what to do. We think it is good to keep up the pressure and so we are still asking you all to consider writing to your MEPs - you can find a list here which shows the MEP in your region who is on the Agriculture or Environment committee. We have written a draft letter which might be helpful if you need ideas.

Tell them that home gardeners are a specific market - they don't have the same needs as commercial farmers. Ask them to push for derogations (exemptions) in the law for varieties developed for home gardeners and small scale growers.

(If you'd like to read them, the Agriculture and Environment draft reports are both available on the EU website.)

European Commission To Ban Heirloom Seeds and Criminalize Plants & Seeds Not Registered With Government - See more at: ... fejls.dpuf

Proposal for a
On the production and making available on the market of plant reproductive material
(plant reproductive material law)
(Text with EEA relevance)
{SWD(2013) 162 final}
{SWD(2013) 163 final} ... php_en.pdf ... dex_en.htm ... -seed-laws ... ions-.html ... ation.html - See more at: ... fQgPK.dpuf

Note: Private gardeners and farmers who use seeds and plants and produce them for their own consumption are not covered by this proposal. The proposal only concerns the marketing of plant reproductive material, and production of that material with a view to marketing.....apparently.
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