European Commission to criminalize nearly all seeds and plants not registered with government
A new law proposed by the European Commission would make it illegal to "grow, reproduce or trade" any vegetable seeds that have not been "tested, approved and accepted" by a new EU bureaucracy named the "EU Plant Variety Agency."
It's called the Plant Reproductive Material Law, and it attempts to put the government in charge of virtually all plants and seeds. Home gardeners who grow their own plants from non-regulated seeds would be considered criminals under this law.
The draft text of the law, which has already been amended several times due to a huge backlash from gardeners, is viewable here.
"This law will immediately stop the professional development of vegetable varieties for home gardeners, organic growers, and small-scale market farmers," said Ben Gabel, vegetable breeder and director of The Real Seed Catalogue. "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."
On the production and making available on the market of plant reproductive material
Legislation of this nature can only serve to advance the interests of the Agro-Industrial Complex. Seed trading, hobbyists, hybridizers, organic gardeners, small growers, specialty seed retailers, will be a thing of the past. I am research unusual Hibiscus species, the seeds for which are only available from a few seed sellers in Europe.
If this is successful in Europe, we will feel the impact in the United States also immediately as our European seed sources disappear. And donít fool yourself into thinking that there are not people who would like to see the same legislation in America. It has nothing to do about seeds and everything to do about control.
This message was edited May 8, 2013 2:57 PM