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EU proposes ban on traditional seed

sorry if this has been posted already, i've just seen this infomation on another gardening forum. the EU is poposing a new law which seem's to affect everyone that grows their own seeds. (could the gardeners world group shed any light on this please!?!)

more info here:


this is the source of my info:,75484.0.html


  • Gold1locksGold1locks Posts: 498

    From what I have read it seems as if this legislation applies to the marketing of seed, not to anyone harvesting their own seed or giving the seeds away, or plants from the seeds.

     It's a bit like propagation of plants that have assigned breeders' rights. Only licensed breeders can commercially propagate certain cultivars, and must sell them with the rights holder's label, but tehre is no reason why you or I shouldn't propagate them, or indeed sell them, provided we don't label them with the original name. For example, you can't propagate and sell sambucus Black Lace under that name, but you could propagate and sell it on a local WI stall as "purple leaved sambucus"  

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,160

    I don't think it would be possible to stop people growing their own seed. I'd step up production if that became law.

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Problem with all these daft european laws is they start off with high intentions, then have stupid concequences, like not being able to make jars of jam to sell at school fairs etc.

    As has been said, people will just ignore this stupid law, like they do many others, coffee grounds for the slugs anyone?

  • thank's gold1locks I hope your right!

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    Well of course the big companies that already control over 80 percent of seed sales want to control the rest.  Anybody surprised?

    We will be able to collect seeds from plants that are grown from open-pollinated plants, but we won't be able to save seeds from hybrid plants.  Take a look through your catalogues and see how many of the seeds are hybrids.

  • This is the thin edge of the wedge - what Monsanto is up to in the US is even more frightening.  They're slowly getting control of all seed production, producing GM infertile seeds which means that people who save seeds - from us small gardeners to farmers in Asia - will be forced to buy them.  And what for? I'm sorry to say that the only real motivation for them is financial growth and hence power, and the prognosis is extremely worrying as they're just taking over food production in this way.  We wander around our own gardens, enjoying the beautiful plants originating from all around the world and out there Monsanto's dominating the vegetation market, from grass to cucumbers to poinsettias to apples to dahlias.

    This is quite a good summary,  As you can see this protest is global.


  • blackestblackest Posts: 623

    from this page:

    Urgent Call For Action - New EU Seed Law to ban all traditional vegetable varieties unless registered and licenced!

    Hello everyone who cares about our seeds and our freedom to use, exchange and sell them.

    There is urgent action needed against the upcoming EU seed marketing law. The new regulation will de facto ban old and rare varieties and farmers varieties and stop the exchange and selling of traditional seeds.

    DG SANCO (the Directorate General of the EU for Sanitary and Consumer affairs) has been working on a proposal for a new regulation for years, driven by lobbying of the globalised agricultural seed industry .The seed industry is pushing the legislation hard, they've spent a lot of money on it.

    However, two other EU directorates, DG AGRI (agricultural affairs) and DG ENVI (environmental affairs) both oppose the proposal because it is so bad for agriculture and biodiversity! So DG SANCO is pushing ahead with the new law anyways by putting it directly to the Commission this week.

    There is only a little chance to get a majority of commissioners to vote against the current proposal, but we still should try.

    Each country of the EU has one commissioner in Brussels, so we need 14 votes against the proposal. The commissioners of DG AGRI and DG ENVI should vote against, so we need 12 more.

    Please write to at least the commissioner of your country and convince him/her to vote "NO" on the proposal of DG SANCO on 6th of May.

    Try to make a link from his/her department to the seed issue, and try to make clear to him/her that the proposal for a new EU seed legislation will affect the cultural and biodiversity heritage of your country and the freedom of farmers to use the seeds and the varieties they want to.


    By forcing registration of all varieties of all crop species , the new law will prohibit old, rare and traditional public-domain farm varieties. This will guarantee huge profits for the seed industry but will be a terrible loss to the people of Europe as our agricultural heritage is outlawed overnight!

    Please write to your commissioner in Brussels no later than the 28th. He/she has to make a statement on the proposal from 24th of April on, the sooner, the better. On the 6th of May, we must obtain at least 14 objections, otherwise this proposal will become the official proposal.

    For background, here are the objections of the european seed-soverignty movement to this stupid new law:


    You can find the members of the EU Commission listed here

    Choose one or more and email them! Each commissioners email will be [email protected]

    Please ask all or any of them to vote against the new Seed Law when it comes before them on May 6th.

    Your email can be very simple. Keep it very short and very polite for most effect. Remember these people are busy running the EU and have not been involved in drafting the law - the situation is not their fault - they just get to vote on it when it is laid before them.


    What exactly does this law say that is so bad?

    The last draft that we saw says that no seed can be sold or even given for free to anyone anywhere in the EU unless it is regist

  • JulieS2JulieS2 Posts: 18

    Hello Blackest, I've just sent this (with a bit of plagiarism from you!)

    'Dear Catherine Ashton,
     As an ordinary UK resident member of the public I am asking you to please vote against the new Seed Law when it comes before you on 6th May 2013.

    By forcing registration of all varieties of all crop species, the new law will prohibit old, rare and traditional public-domain farm varieties. This will guarantee huge profits for the seed industry but will be a terrible loss to the people of Europe as our agricultural heritage is outlawed overnight.

    But most importantly it will be our children who, already facing a future of world food shortage, will suffer the devastating loss of diversity and opportunity to find solutions using both traditional and new growing solutions.

    Thank you for reading this.
     Yours sincerely'

    (I hope I've got it right,  Julie)

  • blackestblackest Posts: 623

    I've done something similar for the irish minister. Most of my previous post was lifted straight from the site linked. 

    I can't find a good source really for this but

    Then, at the Colman’s mustard factory, Coren took food industry analysis to new lows.

    Upon finding out that their yield of mustard seed was dropping, Colmans took some seed from 1995 and interbred diversity back into their crop. They had been damaging their plants by breeding only those with large seeds. Regarding diversity, and without a hint of irony, Coren said

    …the old seeds had it, the modern ones don’t. Finding the old seeds in the cupboard saved the day. It seems to me that in this part of the country farming and industry and technology and large scale production are all very hand in hand. That’s what’s allowed this to happen, isn’t it?

    Of course he was talking about the new breeding programme, not the damage done to natural diversity by large-scale production methods.

    As an example this is quite good, Colmans figured the bigger the seeds the more mustard they would get per plant but they were wrong and yields fell, they were able to rescue the situation by turning to their seed bank. Trouble is would that seed bank be legal or economically viable to maintain under this new legislation? 

    It's a very short sighted proposal that puts all of our eggs/seeds in to one very restricted basket.




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