Traditional and heritage seeds at risk from EU

DG SANCO (the General Directorate of the EU for Sanitary and Consumer affairs) wants to introduce  a new regulation to control seed marketing. They do not have the agreement of the other affected DGs (agriculture and environment) so they are taking their plans directly to the EU Commission.  The commission will vote on May 5, but commissioners are supposed to state their position by April 28.  So if you want to protest this will need to be done soon.

The regulation is designed with the interests of large seed producers in mind.  The basic problem is that it will discourage the production of unusual or heritage or traditional seed varieties.  Any grower who wants to market or swap a seed variety will need to get the variety listed.  To do this the seeds must be submitted to an expensive testing process.  It is possible that strictly speaking it will become illegal for even amateur gardeners like allotmenteers to collect and swap their own seeds.  Continuing to grow unusual varieties could become prohibitively expensive or even illegal .

To learn more about these issues visit  To register a protest send an email to Catherine Ashton, the UK representative on the commission to encourage her to vote against this proposal.   The email address is  Stress that the proposed legislation will  affect the culture and biodiversity of the UK and restrict the freedom of farmers to  use the seeds And varieties they want to.

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