All ABOUT THE New EU Seed Law
LATEST UPDATE 19 December 2014
"Following its rejection of the proposal in 1st reading in April 2014, EP has asked COM to withdraw in letter by EP President dated 11/09/2014 D(2014)41887."
Which sounds like a withdrawal, but apparantly leaves a window open for modification to be agreed instead. We will post more details as soon as we have anything further to add - almost certainly after the Christmas break at the earliest.
In 2012 a terrible new draft seed law was drawn up by the European Commission (unelected civil servants in Brussels). If passed, it would hugely restrict the vegetable varieties that can be sold.
The only people who had any input into drafting this law were large multi-national businesses who supplied 'technical experts' to 'help' them write the law, which is why it completely ignored the needs of small farmers and home growers, or even just common sense.
What we have been up to...
We have also been working with DEFRA - the UKGovernment regulator of the seed industry - who have been really helpful and supportive. They too want to protect the UK seed industry, and make sure UK gardeners have access to whatever plants they wish to grow.
Together with DEFRA, the various NGOs and independent seed houses have been asking for a total exemption from the law for seed for home gardeners and small growers, and several of the UK MEPs supported this idea.
Your letters REALLY helped...
Due to the huge amount of public objection - all your letters and emails and calls - the MEPs realised that there was a problem and the law could not be passed as it stood. When the list of amendments for this law has was released incredibly there were 1144 detailed alterations, deletions and additions suggested from MEPs of every political affiliation.
This is amazing - and it shows that the campaign has really had an effect.
Where are we now?
At the moment, we are waiting to see what will happen once the new Parliament is settled in, although there probably won't be any further movement until the new team of Commissioners come into office later in 2014. (The term of the current Commission expires on the 31st October 2014.) We will keep you posted as soon as there is any further news!