• Petition wurde nicht eingereicht

    at 12 Oct 2018 00:11

    Liebe Unterstützende,
    der Petent oder die Petentin hat innerhalb der letzten 12 Monate nach Ende der Unterschriftensammlung keine Neuigkeiten erstellt und den Status nicht geändert. openPetition geht davon aus, dass die Petition nicht eingereicht oder übergeben wurde.

    Wir bedanken uns herzlich für Ihr Engagement und die Unterstützung,
    Ihr openPetition-Team

  • Die Zeichnungsfrist ist beendet

    at 12 Mar 2014 13:41

    Dear supporters of our petition,

    the EU-Parliament published the results of yesterdays votings on the Commissions proposal for a seed regulation, and other topics.

    The correct numbers are as following:

    voting 6 on the Commissions proposal: 15 yes; 615 no, 13 abstained;
    voting 7 on the request for a referral: 574 yes, 90 no, 10 abstained;
    voting 8 on the legislative resolution: 511 yes, 136 no, 16 abstained
    (please notice: it was 511 yes and not only 51 as in the last mail wrongly written)

    If you are interested in the question who voted how, you find the results of roll-call votes here:
    tinyurl.com/EP-voting-140311 on pages 16 to 21.

    If anybody would like to translate this and the last mail into the petitions language, please feel free to do so and please send it to info@seed-sovereignty.org. Then I would post the translation to all the supporters.

    best regards
    Andreas Riekeberg

    Campaign for seed-sovereignty

  • Die Zeichnungsfrist ist beendet

    at 12 Mar 2014 09:15

    Dear supporters!

    We've made it! The Parliament of the EU has decided: the Commissions proposal for a seed regulation is politically dead. In yesterdays plenary session was adopted with 51 to 130 votes a legislative resolution, which rejects the proposal of 6 Mai 2013 very clear and calls the Commission to submit a new one.

    Until the last moment it was unclear: would the Parliament adopt such a legally binding resolution or would it restrict itself to a simple appeal to the Commission to withdraw the proposal? This appeal in the so called rejection report got 650 to 15 votes. But the Parliament insisted in a voting on the legislative resolution with the above mentioned result.

    By this the longstanding engagement of organisations and groups which are dedicated to the maintaining and broadening of diversity, which are working for farmers rights to produce, exchange and use their seed or which are breeding varieties for ecofarming was successful.

    With this decision the Parliament gave ear to the many hundreds of thousands of people from many European countries which signed since April 2013 diverse petitions against the Commissions proposal. Alone our petition „seed diversity under threat“ got some 150.000 supporters in 12 different languages.

    A big „THANK YOU“ to all of you!

    Now it would be important to adopt the current – even restrictive – EU-seed-law to the demands of maintaining and broadening of diversity. By this there should be given a reasonable legal framework to the groups, organisations and individuals which are engaged in this, and these initiatives should be supported and not restricted. A first step could be the evaluation of the so called conservation directives 2008/62/EC and 2009/145/EC, which should be done (as the directive itself demands) until end of 2013.

    On the other hand the official control of the seeds of the seed industry has to be ensured. Concentration processes through acquisitions and interdependence have led in the past 30 years to a dangerous market power of the major chemical and seed corporations. And the seed industry won't give up their aim. Yesterday the seed lobby ESA tried to disturb the audience be claiming that the decision taken by the Parliament is invalid by procedural mistakes, see kurzlink.de/esa-seedlaw-140311. Anyhow, ESA's Secretary General Garlich von Essen had to admit the strength of the opponents to the new seed regulation and has spoken of a "very, very strong campaign".

    Now we have to wait and be aware of how the Commission and the Council react on the resolution of the Parliament – and we will be attentive to intervene if necessary. In the times of climate change and exhaustion of resources we need a reorientation in the demands to varieties. How long agriculture and horticulture will be able to afford high-input-varieties? In the long run we need varieties with a positive energy balance – for this we need a rethinking in the seed legislation, and for this the support of you all will be needed furthermore!

    Best regards
    Andreas Riekeberg

    Campaign for Seed-Sovereignty

  • Die Zeichnungsfrist ist beendet

    at 09 Mar 2014 23:53

    Dear supporter!

    On Tuesday is the big seed day in the EU-Parliament. It The EP will vote on their statement on the commissions proposal in plenary. What will happen?
    Scenario A: The Parliament adopts a “non-legislative rejection”. This is just a postponement - just a show. In this scenario, the new parliament will continue the work after elections in May.

    Scenario B: The Parliament adopts a LEGISLATIVE rejection. This would mean the political death of the seed regulation. On Monday evening, the major political groups will discuss the issue on and fix their position. A so called 1st reading.

    It is VERY important to call them and demand a LEGISLATVIE rejection (Option B).
    The draft for such an LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION is already tabled! You find it here: tinyurl.com/legislative-resulution-seedlaw or: www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+REPORT+A7-2014-0112+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN Please chose your language at the top of the page.

    English text of the tabled legislative resulution:
    "The European Parliament, ... 1. Rejects the Commission proposal;
    2. Calls on the Commission to withdraw its proposal and submit a new one;
    3. Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments."

    Please contact the relevant people per telephone.
    1.) your national MEPs , see www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/map.html
    2.) the rapporteurs see www.seed-sovereignty.org/PDF/2_List_rapporteurs.pdf
    3.) The presidents of the Parliament, see www.seed-sovereignty.org/PDF/1_List_presidents.pdf You just need to click on them to obtain their phone numbers.

    VERY IMPORTANT: Please note that Monday, 10. March, it’s the "Strasbourg session". This means: Until lunch: Make phonecalls in Brussels. After lunch: Make phonecalls in Strasbourg. It would be really important if you could call them!

    There is still a chance to kick the proposal back! Let's use it!

    Best regards
    Andreas Riekeberg

    Campaign for Seed-Sovereignty

  • Die Zeichnungsfrist ist beendet

    at 05 Dec 2013 23:55

    News on the debate about the EU seed law:

    PARADIGM SHIFT instead of tinkering with niches

    From 22 to 24 Nov in Vienna there was a meeting of European organisations on seed policy. There was adopted a declaration, see www.eu-seedlaw.net, available in 13 languages.

    The main demands:

    1. People, whether they be farmers or gardeners must not be obliged to buy seeds or other “plant reproductive material” from commercial providers. Any regulation must guarantee the rights of farmers, gardeners and all collectives to use, exchange and sell their own seeds and plants.

    2. The industry standard should not be the adopted standard for the seed and plant market. It implies a technical and legal definition that natural plants cannot comply with.

    3. Freely reproducible plants should not be subject to compulsory registration for varieties or certification of seeds and plants. Biodiversity should take precedence over commercial interest.


    In Brussels the new EU seed regulation is highly debated. The leading AGRI-committee of the EU-Parliament has postponed the deadline for amendments from 4 Dec to 11 Dec. In the last public meeting of the committee appeared great differences of opinion regarding the new regulation.

    The Campaign for Seed-Sovereignty demands: there have to be substantial improvements for farmers seeds, for biodiverse seeds and for seeds for organic agriculture. The easiest change would be to make a shift from a mandatory registration of varieties and certification of seed lots to a voluntary one. Such a paradigm shift would be much easier than to tinker with niches.

    Voluntary registration and certification and the product liability law are sufficient to guarantee for the farmers the identity and quality of the bought seeds and other plant propagation material.

    If the Parliament should not feel brave enough to make this paradigm shift, it should send the whole proposal back to the EU commission and ask for a fundamental revision in the described direction.

    WHAT CAN YOU DO in favour of farmers seeds and biodiversity?

    1. Please write to MEPs of you country and ask for the above mentioned paradigm shift or a rejection of the PRM proposal
    AGRI: www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/agri/members.html#menuzone
    ENVI: www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/envi/members.html#menuzone

    2. Please write to the (shadow) rapporteurs of the AGRI and the ENVI-commitee
    2a) AGRI rapporteur: sergio.silvestris@europarl.europa.eu
    Shadow rapporteurs of the other political groups in AGRI:

    2b) ENVI rapporteur: pilar.ayuso@europarl.europa.eu
    Shadow rapporteurs of the other political groups in ENVI:

    MESSAGE: Farmers, seed savers and producers of organic seeds may not be sold off the market!

    Seed producing farmers may not be forced by the new EU seed law to register their seeds, which are often only offered on a regional market, and the may not be forced to certificate their seeds costly.

    Both is not only expensive, but will not succeed in many cases, because the homogeneity and the stability which is needed for registration is not by nature a property of plants! Both is produced by the seed industry for 'their' varieties, to be able to justify the protection of an intellectual property right. Farmers seeds with a broader genetic basis may not and seldom even can be pressed in corset of definition of variety.

    Biodiverse seeds of seed savers have to be free trade-able as well, either on seed swaps as on markets or in long distance sale. Limitations of these varieties by phytosanitary arguments is not acceptable. Threats to plant health are neither the biodiverse seeds nor the organic seeds, but the cultivation on an industrial scale and in monoculture.

    Last but not least a little PARABLE:

    Could not be compared the so called "seed market" according to the PRM-proposal with a courtyard of a prison? Inside there will be the farmers and the gardeners with their demand for seeds. The prison wall is the seed legislation. Only a few producers of seeds (the seed industry) can come through the walls (fulfilling with their seeds the criteria for registration and certification) and sell their seeds inside. Seed producing farmers and others have to stay outside.
    What will happen to the prices of seeds? And to biodiversity? And to the farmers?

    Tear down this prison wall of seed legislation!

    Kind regards
    Andreas Riekeberg

    Campaign for Seed-Sovereignty

  • Petition in Zeichnung

    at 28 Oct 2013 15:49

    Dear Signatories of our petition „Den dyrkede biodiversitet er truet: Vedtag ikke EU frølovgivning, der er til gavn for frøindustrien.“ !

    Thank you!

    With some 600 signatures at the end of the subscription period the response to the petition was not bad. Thanks to all who signed it! The maximum subscription period of six months is prescribed by the platform "openPetition" and can not be extended. We also thank openPetition for providing the platform!

    What is next ?

    The petition will be handed over in Brussels during the course of the legislative process. When there will be the right time for this, that depends on further course.

    So far, in the lead Agricultural Committee of the EU Parliament the rapporteur for the seed legislation was set, it is Sergio Silvestris of the Italian PdL, a member of the EPP Group. He will write the report of the Committee on the proposed legislation to the House of Parliament. There are also so-called shadow -rapporteurs of the other groups.

    A first debate on the bill has taken place on 30.9., here's a look back: www.seed-sovereignty.org/PDF/131010_DK_MEPerne_kritiserer_forslaget_til_ny_EU-seed_regulering.pdf . From the other groups came requests and criticism of the Commission proposal. In the end it will be important that the members of the EPP Group follow their conscience in the seed question and vividly interfere in the debate - and not bow to the party discipline, assumed to be set by Albert DESS from Bavaria, who is the coordinator of EPP group in the AGRI committee.

    The next steps are now: the second debate in the Agriculture Committee on November 25/26 2013 and the submission of amendments until December 4 2013. After this date these amendments will be debated and voted. The first debate in the House of Parliament is scheduled for mid April 2014.

    Besides this a working group of the Council of the EU currently meets on a monthly basis. There the member governments are represented, and they are preparing their position. If the results of the Parliament and Council are be different, a so-called "trialogue " between the EU Commission , Parliament and Council will be held.

    What can I do myself more ?

    a) Please keep yourself and others informed! May be you would like to watch and to screen our documentary "Resilient Seed" www.youtube.com/watch?v=unsC2SGdMBU or in German www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaOt0PD0G5s . You may pass this info on, read and distribute our brochure "Resilient Seed" www.saatgutkampagne.org/PDF/Resilient_Seed_EN_web.pdf or in German www.saatgutkampagne.org/PDF/Booklet_Saatgutfilm2011_web.pdf

    b ) You could discuss in local groups on seed legislation. And for some more days the petition can be signed in Spanisch&English at www.openpetition.de/petition/online/amenaza-a-la-diversidad-de-semillas-no-a-las-normas-europeas-en-beneficio-de-la-industria-semillera#googtrans(de%7Ces)

    c ) You may enter into conversation with EU parliamentarians: Write to MPs to which you have a geographic proximity www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/da/agri/members.html#menuzone . Please describe to them why the diversity of seeds and farmers seeds is important to you and what you require for the new seed legislation. You may refer to the „joint statement on the proposal on legislation about plant reproductive material“, www.seed-sovereignty.org/PDF/joint_statement_seed_legislation_2013-06-12_web.pdf If you inform us of reactions, we can go into it.

    d) You could start or continue by yourself to save seeds. You may attend or organize seed-swaps - a great way to get in contact with like-minded people! Seed swaps are preferable from February to April or May.

    e) visit www.seed-sovereignty.org/DK We try to keep you informed!

    Best regards
    Andreas Riekeberg
    Campaign for Seed-Sovereignty

    P.S.: Today (Mon 28 Oct) is the last day to sign the petition "Den dyrkede biodiversitet er truet: Vedtag ikke EU frølovgivning, der er til gavn for frøindustrien" here: www.openpetition.de/petition/online/den-dyrkede-biodiversitet-er-truet-vedtag-ikke-eu-frlovgivning-der-er-til-gavn-for-frindustrien#googtrans(de%7Cda)

  • Petition in Zeichnung

    at 27 Oct 2013 02:55


    you have signed the petition „Den dyrkede biodiversitet er truett –
    Vedtag ikke EU frølovgivning, der er til gavn for frøindustrien.“ Tak!

    Tomorrow is the last day to sign this petition here www.openpetition.de/petition/online/den-dyrkede-biodiversitet-er-truet-vedtag-ikke-eu-frlovgivning-der-er-til-gavn-for-frindustrien#googtrans(de%7Cda)

    If you want to share the petition with other people, please do it just now. With your help we will reach the level of 1.000 signatures!

    Some of the last comments to the petition from signers:

    „Jeg støtter forbrugernes frie valg og muligheden for at vælge vare (herunder frø), der ikke produceres kommercielt.“

    “Miljøet og naturens diversitet er kraftig truet i vores tid. Udover dette har industrien alt for meget magt til at bestemme unaturlige forhold, varer og produkter, der i sidste ende går ud over vores livskvalitet, sundhed og frugtbarhed.”

    „Vi er desværre nødt til at bekæmpe denne ignorance der spreder sig dramatisk globalt om hvordan vi skal forvalte naturen. Vi er på vej mod at blive topstyret af autoritære systemer, hvis en lovgivning som denne vedtages. Derfor er det vigtigt at skrive under.”

    “Det er vigtigt at bevare gamle frøsorter, som er tilpasset levevilkårene i forskellige egne og klimaer. Det gør fødevareforsyningen mindre sårbar og mindre afhængig af risikable og dyre kemiske hjælpemidler.”

    Two weeks more your friends can sign this petition in the Swedish version under www.openpetition.de/petition/online/mngfalden-av-froeer-hotas-nej-till-eu-s-inskraenkande-regler-till-foermn-foer-utsaedesindustrin#googtrans(de%7Csv)

    Best regards
    Andreas Riekeberg

    Campaign for Seed-Sovereignty

  • Petition in Zeichnung

    at 11 Oct 2013 10:19

    MEP'erne kritiserer forslaget til ny EU-seed regulering

    Kampagnen for Seed Suverænitet anerkender kritikken af ​ den foreslåede EU- seed regulering (www.seed-sovereignty.org/PDF/EU_COM_proposal_PRM_DA.pdf) efter erklæringer fra nogle medlemmer i AGRI udvalg i EU - Parlamentet.

    I deres møde mandag den 30 september Martin Häusling (Greens / EFA , Tyskland) , Ulrike RODUST (S & U Tyskland) , Britta Reimers (ALDE , Tyskland) og Karin KADENBACH (S &U; Østrig) tog ordet og kritiserede øgningen af koncentrationen i frø markedet, og det store antal delegerede retsakter. De bad om deregulering af små producenter , og for gennemsigtighed i avlsmetoder.

    John Stuart Agnew (EFD , UK) understregede behovet for udelukkelse af privatpersoner fra reguleringens anvendelsesområde. Marc Tarabella (S & U Belgien) anmodede om fri frø udveksling mellem landmænd. Georg LYON (ALDE , UK) spurgte, om den nye forordning vitterlig ville være en forenkling.

    Store foretalere for den foreslåede regulering var ordfører Sergio Silvestris (PPE , Italien) og Herbert Dorfmann (PPE , Italien). Begge to syntes ude af stand til, eller uvillige til at skelne mellem registrering af sorter og certificering af PRM- partier. Selv skyggeordfører Luis Manuel CAPOULAS SANTOS (S &U; Portugal) lovede sin støtte til forslaget , som valgte at fokusere på identiteten af sorter og sanitære aspekter, begge spørgsmål henviste til Silvestris`s svar til erklæringerne fra de andre medlemmer.

    Officer POUDELET af GD SANCO fra EU - kommissionen afklarede punktet, landmænds såsæd : „Hvis en landmand sælger frø til en anden landbruger , med andre ord der er et salg involveret med en profitmotiv, så skal han helt klart gennemgå certificeringskravene.“ Denne intensivering af kontrollen med landmændens frø var et spørgsmål, som kampagnen for Seed Suverænitet stillede lige inden AGRI - mødet.

    Se videoen af mødet med en engelsk oversættelse her bifurcatedcarrots.eu/euparl/agri30sept_en.wmv eller anmod om et link til download på dansk via: www.europarl.europa.eu/ep-live/da/committees/video?event=20130930-1500-COMMITTEE-AGRI (A = 16:06:25 , B = 17:02:00 )

    Den 24. november vil frø reguleringen igen være på dagsordenen for COM- AGRI . Det er vigtigt at sende et stærkt budskab til medlemmerne af udvalget med vores krav , reguleringens fokus skal være markedsføring af frø, landmandens frø, og frø af mangfoldighed, sorter der skal udelukkes fra reguleringen: økologiske sorter har brug for særlige registreringsprocedurer , og vi kræver åbenhed omkring moderne avlsmetoder !

    Stærke bekymringer over forslaget

    For første gang er ikke kun markedsføringen af frø i søgelyset for den europæiske frø lovregulering, men også potentielt produktionen af frø. Virkningen vil være, at gårde og planteskoler, som producerer frø for sig selv, og for udveksling med deres naboer, vil være forpligtet til at opbevare oplysninger om mange af deres aktiviteter (Artikel 6 - 8 i forslaget) . Dette ville være en tung byrde , især for subsistenslandbrug i Øst-og Sydeuropa . Det er meget vigtigt for alle landmænd til at have evnen til at genså deres egne frø , uden juridiske barrierer eller administrativ byrde.

    Ud over dette, vil en regulering have meget større indvirkning end de nuværende direktiver. En europæisk regulering efterlader ikke plads til lokal fortolkning eller gennemførelse , så det er ikke muligt at implemtere det til specifikke behov i landbrugsstrukturerne i de enkelte medlemslande.

    Desuden er et grundlæggende problem i reformen af EU`s frø lov, særbehandling af meget homogene og meget stabile DUS sorter. Disse sorter er vedtaget til landbrugskemikalier og procesbetingelserne udstukket af fødevareindustrien , som kræver ensartede , transportable og nemt oplagrede afgrøder. Dette vil kun forårsage yderligere sammentrækning/mindsning af landbrugets biologiske mangfoldighed i Europa.

    Denne ændring i frø politik bør fokusere mest på støtte og stimulering af sand mangfoldighed i frøsorter . Vigtigt er sorter , der implemteres iht. de regionale betingelser for jordbund og klima , dem egnet til hjem og håndværksmæssige forarbejdning, såvel som dem, der giver en mangfoldighed af smag, og har en bred genetisk base. At Fortsætte de nuværende principper udi frø lovgivning, og holde DUS sorter som en standard, ville betyde en fremskyndelse af en udhuling af landbrugets biodiversitet , og sætte den ernæringsmæssige basis for kommende generationer i fare .

    Andreas Riekeberg, Kampagne for Seed - Suverænitet

    Oversat til Dansk af Hr. D.M. Andersen

    Underskrive åbne brev "Den dyrkede biodiversitet er truet": www.openpetition.de/petition/online/den-dyrkede-biodiversitet-er-truet-vedtag-ikke-eu-frlovgivning-der-er-til-gavn-for-frindustrien#googtrans(de%7Cda)

  • Petition in Zeichnung

    at 10 Oct 2013 14:55

    MEP'erne kritiserer forslaget til ny EU-seed regulering

    Preliminary note: If anyone could translate the following text into Dansk, please send it to me (info@seed-sovereignty.org). I will then send it to all the signatories of this petition.

    The Campaign for Seed Sovereignty recognizes the criticism of the proposed EU seed regulation (www.seed-sovereignty.org/PDF/EU_COM_proposal_PRM_DA.pdf) following the statements by some MEPs in the AGRI committee of the EU-Parliament.

    In their meeting on Monday, the 30th of September Martin HÄUSLING (Greens/EFA; Germany), Ulrike RODUST (S&D; Germany), Britta REIMERS (ALDE; Germany) and Karin KADENBACH (S&D; Austria) took the floor and criticized the strengthening of the concentration in the seed market and the large number of delegated acts. They asked for the deregulation of small producers, and for the transparency of breeding methods.

    John Stuart AGNEW (EFD; UK) stressed the need for the exclusion of private persons from the scope of the regulation. Marc TARABELLA (S&D; Belgium) asked for free of seed exchange between farmers. Georg LYON (ALDE; UK) asked if the new regulation would really be a simplification.

    Very in favor of the proposed regulation was rapporteur Sergio SILVESTRIS (EPP; Italy) and Herbert DORFMANN (EPP; Italy). Astonishingly both seemed unable or unwilling to differentiate between registration of varieties and the certification of PRM-lots. Even the shadow rapporteur Luis Manuel CAPOULAS SANTOS (S&D; Portugal) pledged his support for the proposal, who chose to focus on the identity of varieties and sanitary aspects, both issues referred to by Silvestris in his reply to the statements of the other MEPs.

    Officer POUDELET of the DG SANCO from the EU-commission clarified the point of farmers seeds: “If a farmer is selling seed to another farmer, in other words there is a sale involved with a profit motive, than clearly he has got to go through the certification hoops”. This intensification of control over farmers seeds was an issue addressed by the Campaign for Seed Sovereignty just before the AGRI-meeting.

    Watch the video of the meeting with an English translation here bifurcatedcarrots.eu/euparl/agri30sept_en.wmv or request a link for download in Latvian via: www.europarl.europa.eu/ep-live/da/committees/video?event=20130930-1500-COMMITTEE-AGRI (A=16:06:25; B=17:02:00)

    On 24th of November the seed regulation will be again on the agenda of COM-AGRI. It is important to send strong messages to the members of the committee with our demands; the scope of the regulation has to be the marketing of seeds above certain limits, farmers seeds and seeds of diversity varieties have to be excluded from the scope of the regulation, organic varieties need special registration procedures and we demand transparency concerning modern breeding methods!

    Stærke bekymringer over forslaget / Strong concerns over the proposal

    For the first time not only is the marketing of seeds in the scope of the European seed law, but also potentially the production of seeds. The effect would be that farms and nurseries, which are producing seeds for themselves of for the exchange with their neighbors, are under the regulation and would be obliged to keep information on many of their activities (paragraphs 6 – 8 of the proposal). This would be a heavy burden, especially for subsistence farming in eastern and southern Europe. It's very important for all farmers to have the ability to resow their own seeds, without legal barriers or administrative burden.

    Besides this, a regulation would have much more impact than the current directives. A European regulation doesn't leave space for local interpretation or implementation, so it's not possible to adopt it to specific demands of the agricultural structures in member states.

    Furthermore the basic problem of the reform of the EU seed law is the preferential treatment of highly homogeneous and highly stable DUS varieties. These varieties are adopted to agrochemicals and to the processing conditions of the food industry, which demand uniform, transportable and storable crops. This will only cause further contraction of agricultural biological diversity in Europe.

    This change in seed policy should focus on the support and stimulation of real diversity in seed varieties. Important are varieties which are adopted to the regional conditions of soil and climate, those suited to home and artisanal processing, as well as those which provide a diversity of tastes and have a broad genetic base. To continue the current principles of seed legislation, to extend the scope of the seed law and to keep the DUS varieties as a standard, would mean the acceleration of the erosion of agricultural biodiversity, and put the nutritional basis for the coming age into jeopardy.

    Andreas Riekeberg
    Campaign for Seed-Sovereignty

  • Petition in Zeichnung

    at 13 Jun 2013 14:48


    On the 13th of June, the EU Commission will hold a conference in Brussels with the EU Parliament and EU Council to explain the package “smarter rules for safer food“ on seed marketing, plant pests, animal health and related official controls.

    Whilst in the preamble, the proposal for the plant reproductive material law looks as if every effort is being made to preserve and promote agricultural biodiversity and on-farm conservation, the reality is that the opposite is happening. New rules and restrictions have been created which hamper the freedom of farmers and seed saving organisations. In addition, the “niche” (art. 36) is not going to work in a practical sense, because of the restrictions assigned to “niche” sector and the perspective of them being further tightened by means of “Delegated Acts” by the EU Commission at any stage.

    The main lobby organization of the seed industry ESA has in a letter to MEPs expressed their satisfaction with the proposal in an alarming way (www.seed-sovereignty.org/PDF/ESA_to_EU_Parliament.pdf).
    ESA writes “The proposals of the European Commission … pave the way for establishing a modern, dynamic, harmonised and simplified legal framework for seed.”
    What does this sentence of ESA mean?
    1.) In this context, ”modern” means: The law is made for the demands of the seed industry; more precisely to facilitate the commercialization of varieties dependent on fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals in order to increase agricultural productivity. This deprives European citizens of the choice for another agricultural model which does not affect the water tables and the soil. Some “modern” biotechnological breeding methods, which are not classified as “classic” genetic manipulation and do not require special labelling, result in infertile plants. This is a danger for agro-biodiversity.
    We demand transparency in breeding methods! European citizens must have a choice of which agricultural development they want to support. Therefore proprietary and non-reproducible varieties must be labelled as such.

    2.) “Dynamic” probably refers to the many Delegated Acts, more than 30. With these Delegated Acts, the Commission reserves the right to formulate the details of the legislation at a later date by committee vote without approval of the Parliament. Not only technical details, but many important issues are left open. The proposal is only a “legal framework” that is later defined by committees heavily influenced by industry.
    We demand that the EU Parliament should not adopt such a black box.
    3.) “Harmonised” refers to the fact that this law will be valid without national adaptation in all EU states. This is for the benefit of transnational corporations of the seed and agrochemical industries; they want to sell to a common market.
    We demand that the EU member states have room to adapt the law to local needs of agriculture and horticulture.

    4.) The ESA welcomes the alleged “farmers’ access to the best plant varieties”.
    We strongly question the idea that the varieties of the seed industry are the best. They are the ones adapted to agrochemicals and to industrial agriculture and industrial processing of food. These are not adapted to local soil and climate, not adapted to small scale agriculture nor to the tastes of people in the different member states.

    5.) The ESA does not tell us the true costs of their industrial seed production: the farmers' loss of independence, their ability to produce seeds and other propagating material themselves, the loss of soil fertility and the loss of the fauna and flora in the forests and fields due to the use of agrochemicals.
    We demand that farmers and gardeners should be able and allowed to produce and exchange their own seeds and propagating material, without niche limitations and without mandatory registration of operators, without any mandatory registration of plant varieties and without any mandatory certification or registration of seed lots! Especially seeds not covered with Intellectual Property Rights should be exempt from mandatory registration.

    In summary, you do not need such a restrictive and bureaucratic legislation to produce seed of high quality, even the seed industry does not need that, do they? The fact that ESA demands restricted market access, only for their own category of varieties, shows how insecure they are with regard to market success of such seeds. It seems that ESA is afraid of free competition with farmers' varieties, with varieties bred for organic farming, and with diversity varieties – even though these varieties comprise only a small part of the seed market. ESA demands a bureaucratic legislation, because the administrative burdens can only be covered by multinationals with huge seed sales volumes or, simply, enough

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