• 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 13:36

    Dear supporters pf 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.

    best regards
    Andreas Riekeberg

    Campaign for seed-sovereignty
    www.seed-sovereignty.org

  • Die Zeichnungsfrist ist beendet

    at 12 Mar 2014 09:14

    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
    www.seed-sovereignty.org

  • Die Zeichnungsfrist ist beendet

    at 09 Mar 2014 23:52

    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
    www.seed-sovereignty.org

  • Die Zeichnungsfrist ist beendet

    at 27 Jan 2014 00:24

    Dear subscriber of our petition on the EU-seed regulation,

    will the proposal of the EU Commission will be rejected in the next days or not?

    The negotiations on the new seed regulation in the AGRI committee of the EU Parliament are at a crossroads!

    On the one hand: nearly all the coordinators of the political groups signed an amendment "The European Parliament rejects the Commission proposal." Very nice! If this would be accepted it would help a lot, because the Commission would have to re-draft the proposal.

    On the other hand the commission and the ESA (lobby of the seed industry) did much lobbying last week. They want to be the proposal accepted by the Parliament with only little changes, because this proposal privileges the industrial varieties, very homogeneous and stable, and by this it discriminates biodiversity and farmers varieties.

    The commission talks about a "level playing-field" for all operators. Unfortunately economy is not a game but a battle - and a level battlefield at DUS-criterias would privilege the strongest operators, the transnational seed companies like Monsanto, Bayer, BASF, Syngenta, DuPont Pioneer, Dow Chemical and KWS with their industrial DUS-varieties.


    We have to act against their lobbying just now! On Mon 27 Jan (today) in the afternoon the AGRI committee is discussing the rejection, on Tue 11 Feb they are going to vote on the rejection.

    Please call you MEP, especially the members of the AGRI committee! The earlier the better! You find the telephone numbers of their offices in Brussels below. Please tell them that you are concerned of the seed legislation and ask them for the rejection of the Commissions proposal, because of its many negative impacts.

    A redrafting would provide the chance to prepare a new and much improved proposal:
    - which keeps farmers production and marketing of seeds free of bureaucracy and thereby could really consider the farmers rights to produce, exchange, sell and use the seed they want,
    - which enables the registration of organically bred varieties in an appropriate manner and
    - which keeps the maintaining of agrobiodiversity free of bureaucracy.

    You may refer to the Vienna Declaration "Protect our natural heritage, biodiversity and resulting food security!" www.eu-seedlaw.net which is signed by more than 40 organisations from all over Europe and translated into 16 languages. Please mention: The best way to allow diverse varieties on the open market would be to make a shift from a compulsory system of registration and certification to a voluntary one. (Please do not let disturb you: this would NOT allow GMO - they are subjected to another regulation, the Directive 2001/18/EC ... on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms!)

    Please act now!

    With best regards
    Andreas Riekeberg
    Campaign for Seed Sovereignty
    www.seed-sovereignty.org


    Telephone numbers of MEPs (members and substitutes in AGRI) from:

    United Kingdom
    Julie GIRLING: +32(0)2 28 45678
    George LYON: +32(0)2 28 45628
    James NICHOLSON: +32(0)2 28 45933
    Alyn SMITH: +32(0)2 28 45187
    Richard ASHWORTH: +32(0)2 28 45309
    Diane DODDS: +32(0)2 28 45770

    Belgium:
    Marc TARABELLA: +32(0)2 28 45444

    Bulgaria:
    Mariya GABRIEL: +32(0)2 28 45248

    Czech Republic:
    Robert DUSEK: +32(0)2 28 45413
    Hynek FAJMON: +32(0)2 28 45806

    Danmark
    Margrete AUKEN: +32(0)2 28 45327
    Christel SCHALDEMOSE: +32(0)2 28 45491

    France:
    Eric ANDRIEU: +32(0)2 28 45170
    Michel DANTIN: +32(0)2 28 45533
    Agnès LE BRUN: +32(0)2 28 45124
    Sylvie GOULARD: +32(0)2 28 45450

    Greece:
    Georgios PAPASTAMKOS: +32(0)2 28 45448
    Spyros DANELLIS: +32(0)2 28 45460

    Hungary:
    Bela GLATTFELDER: +32(0)2 28 45889
    Csaba Sándor TABAJDI: +32(0)2 28 45821

    Ireland / Eire
    Liam AYLWARD: +32(0)2 28 45782
    Mairead McGUINNESS: +32(0)2 28 45214
    Phil PRENDERGAST: +32(0)2 28 45537

    Italy:
    Herbert DORFMANN: +32(0)2 28 45158
    Giancarlo SCOTTA: +32(0)2 28 45754
    Francesca BARRACCIU: +32(0)2 28 45518

    Latvia:
    Alfreds RUBIKS: +32(0)2 28 45649

    Lithuania
    Valdemar TOMAŠEVSKI: +32(0)2 28 45698

    Poland:
    Czesław Adam SIEKIERSKI: +32(0)2 28 45793
    Janusz WOJCIECHOWSKI: +32(0)2 28 45802
    Jarosław KALINOWSKI: +32(0)2 28 45203
    Wojciech Michał OLEJNICZAK: +32(0)2 28 45421

    Portugal:
    Luis Manuel CAPOULAS SANTOS: +32(0)2 28 45991
    Luís Paulo ALVES: +32(0)2 28 45828
    Maria do Céu PATRÃO NEVES: +32(0)2 28 45897

    Romania:
    Vasilica Viorica DANCILA: +32(0)2 28 45808
    Rareş-Lucian NICULESCU: +32(0)2 28 45590
    Daciana Octavia SARBU: +32(0)2 28 45805

    Spain:
    Iratxe GARCIA PEREZ: +32(0)2 28 45646
    Sergio GUTIERREZ PRIETO: +32(0)2 28 45331
    Esther HERRANZ GARCIA: +32(0)2 28 45274
    Gabriel MATO ADROVER: +32(0)2 28 45237
    Alejandro CERCAS: +32(0)2 28 45455
    Ricardo CORTES LASTRA: +32(0)2 28 45814

    Sweden:
    Marit PAULSEN: +32(0)2 28 45621

  • Die Zeichnungsfrist ist beendet

    at 05 Dec 2013 23:54

    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.


    News on the LEGISLATIVE PROCESS:

    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:
    george.lyon@europarl.europa.eu
    julie.girling@europarl.europa.eu
    Johnstuart.agnew@europarl.europa.eu
    alfreds.rubiks@europarl.europa.eu
    martin.haeusling@europarl.europa.eu

    2b) ENVI rapporteur: pilar.ayuso@europarl.europa.eu
    Shadow rapporteurs of the other political groups in ENVI:
    corinne.lepage@europarl.europa.eu
    satu.hassi@europarl.europa.eu
    pavel.poc@europarl.europa.eu
    joao.ferreira@europarl.europa.eu
    James.nicholson@europarl.europa.eu

    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
    www.seed-sovereignty.org/EN/index.html

  • Petition in Zeichnung

    at 27 Oct 2013 23:53

    Dear Signatories of our petition „Seed diversity under threat – No European seed regulations for the benefit of the seed industry“

    With some 9,500 signatures at the end of the subscription period the petition has had a good response. Thanks to all who signed! The maximum 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 during the course of the legislative process in Brussels. When there will be the right time for this, depends on further course.

    So far, the rapporteur for seed legislation was set in the lead Agricultural Committee of the EU Parliament ( Sergio Silvestris of the Italian PdL , a member of the EPP Group ) . He will formulate 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/MEPs_criticize_proposed_new_EU_seed_law.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.
    The next steps are now: the second debate in the Agriculture Committee on 11/25-26/2013 and the submission of amendments until 12/04/2013. 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) Inform yourself and others ! Watch and screen our doku "Resilient Seed" www.youtube.com/watch?v=unsC2SGdMBU . Pass this info on, read and distribute our brochure "Resilient Seed" www.saatgutkampagne.org/PDF/Resilient_Seed_EN_web.pdf

    b ) Discuss in local groups on the subject. And for some more days the petition can be signed 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 ) enter into conversation with the EU parliamentarians: Write to MPs to which you have a geographic proximity www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/agri/members.html#menuzone . Describe why the diversity of seeds and farmers seeds is important to you and what you require for the new seed legislation. 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) Begin by yourself to save seeds! Attend or organize seed-swaps - a great way to get in contact with like-minded people! Seed swaps are preferable from February to April.

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

    Best regards
    Andreas Riekeberg
    Campaign for Seed-Sovereignty
    www.seed-sovereignty.org

  • Petition in Zeichnung

    at 27 Oct 2013 02:25

    Hello,

    you have signed the petition „ Seed diversity under threat – Against European seed regulations for the benefit of the seed industry“. Thank You!

    Today is the last day to sign this petition under www.openpetition.de/petition/online/seed-diversity-under-threat-no-european-seed-regulations-for-the-benefit-of-the-seed-industry#googtrans(de%7Cen)

    If you want to share the petition with other people, please do it just now. With your help we will reach the level of 10.000 signatures!

    Some of the last comments to the petition from signers:

    „Because we need all types of seeds to be available to protect bio diversity and for future needs. This law is far too restrictive and bureaucratic. We would lose our rich heritage“

    “Seeds are given freely to us by nature. We don't need bureaucracy to tell us what we can and can't do with them.”

    „The petition is important as an attempt to secure the rights of individuals to grow their own food by selecting from the huge range of seeds and plants naturally available in the world, without having to get involved with regulations and legislations, as they have done for the previous 40 thousand years. The propagation and reproduction of fruits and flowers is and always has been a natural process throughout the world, whether by human agency and for human consumption or not.”

    “So many things are already going wrong with our food worldwide. It is horrible to know that the biggest part of the production of seeds is in the hand of 5 multinationals. This has nothing to do with agriculture anymore. This is big business and so little people worry about the quality of the food. The multinationals don't and apparently the European Commission also. Biodiversity is although crucial for sustainable agriculture! Please do not let it come so far!”

    Two weeks more your friends can sign this petition in the spanish&english version under 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)

    Best regards
    Andreas Riekeberg

    Campaign for Seed-Sovereignty
    www.seed-sovereignty.org/EN/index.html

  • Petition in Zeichnung

    at 09 Oct 2013 18:29

    MEPs criticize proposed new EU seed law

    The Campaign for Seed Sovereignty recognizes the criticism of the proposed EU seed regulation (www.seed-sovereignty.org/PDF/EU_COM_proposal_PRM_en.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; Poland) 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 requst a link for download in any language via: tinyurl.com/COM-AGRI-130930-EN

    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!


    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.

    Kind regards
    Andreas Riekeberg, Campaign for Seed-Sovereignty
    www.seed-sovereignty.org/EN/index.html

  • Petition in Zeichnung

    at 13 Jun 2013 09:21

    JOINT STATEMENT ON THE PROPOSAL ON LEGISLATION ABOUT PLANT REPRODUCTIVE MATERIAL

    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 financial means. The proposed PRM legislation is strengthening the already extreme

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