Seed regulation

Heading off a serious threat to biodiversity and long term food production

The EP today voted on a resolution asking the Commission to withdraw its proposal on the production and marketing of seeds and produce a new one after the elections. 

For the Greens/EFA this is a clear signal that the proposal's content needs to be improved. Seed diversity means food security! The new proposal therefore needs to recognise the need to protect farmers' rights as well as biodiversity and an equitable organisation of the seed market.  Since the Commission's publication last May of the proposal for a regulation on production and marketing of seeds, the Greens/EFA Group has campaigned against it. This proposed legislation is not favourable to genetic diversity, farmers' rights or the interests of small and organic breeders. Instead it was shaped around serving the needs of the multinational seed industry that currently dominates the market and is intricately linked with use of pesticides and artificial fertilisers, which will further push farmers into industrial-scale, input-dependent agricultural systems. However, the proposals Ignore these severe impact on our agriculture and the food system and continue to apply very restrictive and expensive rules and procedures for the testing, registration and marketing of seeds through the common catalogue of the EU. This proposal continues this by imposing criteria like distinctness, uniformity and stability, excluding traditional or newly bred heterogenic seeds which would be the basis for better conservation, development and sustainable use of seeds in more resilient farming practices such as organic farming and mixed cropping. The Greens have for many years now been critical of the negative effects of EU seed laws on agricultural biodiversity. We have been supporting an EU-wide seed network of NGOs and farmers organisations and have highlighted the need to improve conservation through sustainable use in our food campaign. Today, thanks to very good campaigning by NGOs and the tabling of around 1400 amendments that reflect the concerns of small farmers and breeders, the whole parliament has rejected this unfair proposal and asked the Commission to go back to the drawing board. Green candidates for the European elections and then from May onwards, newly-elected MEPs, will keep fighting to make key green principles on food security, farmers' rights and respect of biodiversity central to the new proposal. Watch our short video on the kind of proposal we want

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