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New EU laws about seed trading – what’s the truth?



May 11, 2013

Mixed Fabaceae (seeds)Photo Bff

Are the claims true that new EU laws will make trading in seeds by amateur gardeners illegal?

Websites like Natural News and National Review.com are full of dire warnings about these new laws being pushed by large corporate seed companies like Monsanto looking to control the world’s seed production, and say “a new law proposed by the European Commission would make it illegal to “grow, reproduce or trade” any vegetable seeds that have not been “tested, approved and accepted” by a new EU bureaucracy named the “EU Plant Variety Agency.”

Natural News also claims that “Virtually all plants, vegetable seeds and gardeners to eventually be registered by government”.

The UK NFU (National Farmers Union) disagrees – “Claims that the trading of seed on a small scale by amateur gardeners and allotment holders may become outlawed by proposed new EU legislation are misleading and distract from the real issues facing modern farming”, the NFU said today.

“The existing legislation and current draft proposal is designed to protect UK consumers by ensuring that seed traded on a commercial scale is distinct, uniform and stable. Without robust tests farmers and consumers are exposed to an increased risk of ineffective and unusable seed, increasing the likelihood of crop failures.”

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