This We Have To STOP
The European Commission is changing the European Union’s
plant legislation, apparently to enhance food safety across the continent. This
move has sparked a heavy opposition from many, saying that the measure will
threaten seed diversity and favour large agrochemical businesses. This new law
creates new powers to classify and regulate all plant life anywhere in Europe.
The “Plant Reproductive Material Law” regulates all plants.
It contains restrictions on vegetables and woodland trees, as well as all other
plants of any species. It will be illegal to grow, reproduce, or trade any
vegetable seed or tree that has not been tested and approved by the government,
more specifically the “EU Plant Variety Agency.”
This agency will be responsible for making a list of
approved plants and an annual fee must also be forwarded to the agency if
growers would like to keep what they grow on the list. The new law basically
puts the government in charge of all plants and seeds in Europe, and prevents
home gardeners from growing their own plants from non-regulated seeds.
If they did, they
would now be considered criminals.
The draft text of the law has already been changed several times
due to a large backlash from gardeners.
This law will immediately stop the professional development
of vegetable varieties for home gardeners, organic growers and small scale
market farmers. Home gardeners have really different needs – for example they
grow by hand, not machine, and can’t or don’t want to use such powerful
chemical sprays.
There’s no way to register the varieties suitable for home
use as they don’t meet the strict criteria of the Plant Variety Agency, which
is only concerned about approving the sort of seed used by industrial farmers.
It seems the government is taking over everything, virtually
all plants, vegetables seeds and gardeners are to be registered by the
government. What’s even more disturbing is that all heirloom seeds will be
criminalized. This means that saving seeds from one generation to the next will
become a criminal act!
This law was written for the needs of the globalized farm
seed industry, who supply seed by the ton to industrial farmers. It should not
apply at all to seed used by home gardeners and small market growers. Freely
reproducible seeds should be a human right, they are part of our heritage.
I understand this is to protect the business of big
agri-companies, but registration and testing should be voluntary for all non
GMO, non-patented and non-hybrid seed.
So what can you do?

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