" /> José Bové - Seed Regulation : The Debate is Really Open !

Seed Regulation : The Debate is Really Open !

Thématiques > Agriculture > Seed Regulation : The Debate is Really Open !
9 décembre 2013

In his report on the new regulations on the « marketing of seeds », MEP Sergio Silvestris (EPP, IT) has proposed to the European Parliament to remove the few openings the European Commission proposal dated 6th May contained for the recognition of farmers’ rights and promulgation of agricultural biodiversity.

Although the Silvestris report dares not to prohibit totally exchange of seeds between farmers, the exchanges may only be done in order to conserve genetic resources that are essential for industrial renewal. To prevent farmers using this very narrow but real niche, he proposes to control the activity more closely : if parliament follows his recommendations, any farmer producing seed for his/her own culture (ie. not for commercial use) must also register with the administration and must keep a record of all his seed exchanges with other farmers.

The European Commission was to define later the conditions of production, labeling and marketing of « heterogeneous » and “niche material”. In fact, the Silvestris report foresees the same requirements for the latter as for standard seed varieties in order to be registered in the catalogue.

The above mentioned technical requirements are not tailored to the specific characteristics of these seeds and exclude the majority of them, mainly those produced by farmers in their usual conditions of crop production and / or in the context of organic farming.

In addition, the Silvestris report reinforces or retains all measures that provide total control of the seed market to a handful of multinational corporations.

In amendments which I will table with the Greens / EFA, our position is firm : « I will defend the right of farmers to produce, use, exchange and sell their seeds, their right to be protected from genetic contamination and against biopiracy. Thus farmers will be able to defend food sovereignty by preserving access to seed diversity and by using crop biodiversity in their fields against the concentration of firms offering standardized seeds for agro-industrial production. «