• Petition in Zeichnung

    at 10 Oct 2013 12:40

    Deputații europeni critică propunerea de nou regulament semințe UE / MEPs criticize proposal for new EU seed regulation

    Notă preliminară: Dacă cineva vrea să traducă următorul text în limba română, trimite-mi te rog (info@seed-sovereignty.org), eu apoi trimite-l la toți semnatarii petiției.

    The Campaign for Seed Sovereignty recognizes the criticism of the proposed EU seed regulation (www.seed-sovereignty.org/PDF/EU_COM_proposal_PRM_RO.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 Romanian via: www.europarl.europa.eu/ep-live/ro/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!

    Profunda îngrijorare asupra propunerii / 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 Riek

  • Petition in Zeichnung

    at 13 Jun 2013 14:50


    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

  • Petition in Zeichnung

    at 09 Jun 2013 18:20

    Draga sustinatorule pentru petitia “Diversitatea semintelor în pericol! NU vrem o lege europeanã în beneficiul industriei de seminte!!”

    Multumesc pentru sustinerea petitiei noastre ! Cu sase saptamani in urma ea a fost postata, si in total, in mai mult de 15 limbi, avem acum mai mult de 45.000 de semnaturi din toata Europa si nu numai.

    Ce s-a petrecut in ultimele citeva saptamani ?

    Luni 6 Mai, Comisia UE a aprobat o propunere de regulament de marketing a “Material Reproducator pentru Plante” (PRM), bazata pe o ciorna din Nov 2012, ciorna criticata de petitia noastra.Propunerea include totusi o pregatire pentru varietatile de “nisa”, si aceasta numai datorita presiunii colective exercitate asupra politicienilor.

    Sunt o serie de critici asupra propunerii, vezi de exemplu termenul de presa in engleza pentru “Arche Noah”(arca lui Noe) www.saatgutkampagne.org/130507_press_release_Arche_Noah.PDF -ul si una dintre organizatiile umbrela din Germania pentru biodiversitatea recoltelor si a septelului, “Semintele care pot fi salvate dispar din piata” www.kulturpflanzen-nutztiervielfalt.org/seed-can-be-saved-disappearing-market . Revendicarile din petitia noastra se mentin, si vor fi directionate acum spre membrii Parlamentului UE si a Consiliului de Ministri UE.

    Inainte de votul din 6 Mai, sase comisari au fost informati despre petitie cat si despre numarul de semnaturi din fiecare tara (limba). Am cerut ca sa respinga regulamentul,dar au ramas nepasatori.

    Acum este important sa accentuam revendicarile pentru ca un nou regulament sa creeze conditiile corecte pentru diversitatea semintelor, varietatea raselor si acestea urmate de culturi organice, in virtutea diversitatii lor genetice. In saptamanile si lunile care urmeaza contam pe ajutorul vostru pentru aceasta.In perioada 15-19 Iulie MEPs au “saptamana de constituire”, conform www.europarl.europa.eu/pdf/general/cal2013.pdf

    Activitatea externa a europarlamentarilor va fi in tarile de origine. Poate ve-ti incerca sa organizati discutii cu ei pe problema semintelor ? Aceasta ar fi foarte important, mai ales daca ei sunt membri ai comitetelor AGRI sau ENVI !

    Al dumneavoastră
    Andreas Riekeberg
    Campanie pentru Suveranitatea asupra Semințelor

  • Petition in Zeichnung

    at 07 Jun 2013 22:18

    Dear supporter of the petition „Diversitatea semintelor în pericol! NU vrem o lege europeanã în beneficiul industriei de seminte!!”

    Thank you for supporting our petition! Six weeks ago it went online, and in total, in more than 15 languages (cf. www.seed-sovereignty.org/EN/), we now have more than 45.000 signatures from all over Europe and beyond. If anybody would like to translate this posting into Romanian to get it posted here, please do so and send it back to info@seed-sovereignty.org . Thanks in advance!

    What happened in the last few weeks?

    On Monday the 6th of May, the EU Commission approved a proposal of the Plant Reproductive Material (PRM) marketing regulation, based on an earlier Nov 2012 draft criticized by our petition. The proposal however includes a provision for „niche“ varieties, and this is only due to the pressures collectively put on the politicians.

    There are a number of criticisms of this proposal, see for example the press release in English from “Arche Noah” (Noah's ark) www.saatgutkampagne.org/130507_press_release_Arche_Noah.PDF and the one of the German umbrella organisation for crop and livestock biodiversity, "Seed that can be saved is disappearing from the market" www.kulturpflanzen-nutztiervielfalt.org/seed-can-be-saved-disappearing-market .

    The demands of our petition stand, and will now be directed to the members of the EU Parliament and EU Council of Ministers.

    Ahead of the vote on 6 May, six commissioners were informed about the petition as well as the current number of signatures on each of the languages. We demanded they reject the regulation, but it passed regardless.

    It is now important to emphasize the demands that a new EU seed regulation must create the right conditions for seeds of diversity, farm bred varieties and varieties uniquely suited for organic culture by virtue of their genetic diversity.

    In the coming weeks and months we will count on your help for this, as we talk to member of the EU Parliament and/or stand up in other ways politically for our demands. From 15 to 19 July the MEPs have their „constituency weeks”, cf www.europarl.europa.eu/pdf/general/cal2013.pdf . For external parliamentary activities they should be in their home countries. Maybe you would like to try to organize discussions with them on the seed issue? This would be very important, if they are members of the AGRI or the ENVI committee! And two vice-chairs of the AGRI-comitee are from Poland.

    Andreas Riekeberg

    Campaign for Seed-Sovereignty

    P.S.: Please forward this link to friends to sign the petition in Romanian: www.openpetition.de/petition/online/diversitatea-semintelor-n-pericol-nu-vrem-o-lege-european-n-beneficiul-industriei-de-seminte#googtrans(de%7Cro) (including the brackets)

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