Fairly soon I may not even be able to give away seeds of old vegetable varieties

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British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
25,532
402
Mercia
I read this today on the realseeds site with a sinking heart. I hardly consider the piece unbiased - but I can see no good reason to regulate private individuals giving away historical seed stocks (other than to boost profits of large companies) - I thought we were all in favour of biodiversity?

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.

SAY NO TO PROHIBITION OF SEEDS OF DIVERSITY!

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:

http://saatgutpolitik.arche-noah.at/files/openletter_lettreouverte_offenerbrief.pdf

Source:

http://www.realseeds.co.uk/seedlaw.html

I found myself sufficiently moved to write to Catherine Ashton (the UK member of the European Commission). I am all in favour of sensible laws - but not those that stamp out the very thing we are trying to achieve with biodiversity!



[email]catherine.ashton@ec.europa.eu
[/EMAIL]

(The Vice President of the European Commission)

Dear Ms Ashton,

I have read with grave concern the proposals by the Directorate General of the EU for Sanitary and Consumer affairs to effectively outlaw the exchange of seeds of some of the oldest and rarest plant types currently available in Great Britain by amending the Regulation on Marketing of Plant Reproductive Material (PRM). I note that this proposal is opposed by both the DG of agricultural affairs and the DG of Environmental Affairs.

This legislation would hugely threaten some of the most environmentally sensitive, rarest and most vulnerable strains of plants in the UK. It would directly threaten UK food security, the farming industry and necessary fauna in the United Kingdom.

Would you please be kind enough to reassure me that you will be voting against this legislation?
I hope this isn't seen as political - it isn't intended to be - but in the light of all of our love of interesting flora, I thought it necessary to bring it to peoples attention - bear in mind this covers rare trees and non edible plants as well. So when you want some wild garlic seed for your garden - it may be against the law for me even to give it to you :(
 
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Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,601
1,703
S. Lanarkshire
ooooh, technically it is. But, since it's a complete and utter travesty agin nature and a healthy biodiversity, this Mod's being selectively blind on the issue....if the thread disappears at least some will have had the chance to read it first.

I hope you don't mind BR, I'm going to write to Ms Ashton too, but I'm giving a heavy hint to folks who aren't comfortable writing their own to copy yours.

Anyone know if there's a proposal/petition elsewhere that can be accessed ?

atb,
M
 

Niels

Full Member
Mar 28, 2011
2,582
1
23
Netherlands
I do see how that's really quite lame. And how that doesn't help with biodiversity whatsoever.
I'll try to find out if there's a Dutch comissioner and see if I can write to him or her.
 

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
25,532
402
Mercia
I understand completely if any Mod isn't comfortable Mary and would understand if they wanted to remove the thread - I wondered if it crossed a line. I have given seeds to so many here - and received them in turn - that I thought it might be a subject people wanted to be aware of. We are all so interested not only in "growing our own" but also seeing rare trees and plants flourish that I thought it worthy of "putting my head above the parapet".

There is a petition here

http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/We_dont_accept_this_Let_us_keep_our_seeds_EU/?pv=0

I think personally that writing directly to the commisioner might not be the best way?

Clearly, in the interests of balance, people are in favour of such legislation, they can of course write to express that as a view!
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,601
1,703
S. Lanarkshire
I've written to Ms Ashton.

It's an appalling thing to limit biodiversity in the interests of multi national agribusiness :sigh:

Thanks for the link to the petition too :) and your understanding that it is technically a political thread.

M
 

xylaria

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
I signed a petition when there was the previous draft, and the improvements are predicable lame so i have signed again. The local building college has managed after 10 years rebreed local ancient wheats to be able to withstand the welsh climate , and it produces thatching straw. Shame it will never be able to sell those seeds, so that chance of diversifing will be gone under the new law.
 

Dave

Hill Dweller
Sep 17, 2003
6,019
8
Brigantia
Thats unbelievable. Makes you wonder where it will all end. Someone should drop countryfile an email as well. Maybe they'll do an expose?

countryfile@bbc.co.uk
 

Dave

Hill Dweller
Sep 17, 2003
6,019
8
Brigantia
More you think about this, the crazier it is.
Its all about control.
Absolutely mental. Out of control corporatism.

Im dying to post a load of stuff about the 'unelected' EU but will restrain myself, as dont want the thread to be locked.

:mad::rant:

Emails sent.

Are we heading toward a world, where just a few large corporations will control all food production, and staple foodstuffs, and it will be genetically modified, [so it will last longer but all taste bland] and to avoid the risk of cross contamination between species, huge areas of the earth will need to become bio sterile enviroments. And all other animals will not be able to eat it. Because the multinational corporations behind this type of legislation want that type of world.

Hopefully mother nature will step in and regulate human kind.
 
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Dave

Hill Dweller
Sep 17, 2003
6,019
8
Brigantia
I dont want to derail the thread, but whever I read about this kind of totalitarian stuff, I find this excerpt comforting....

According to Tainter's Collapse of Complex Societies, societies become more complex as they try to solve problems.

When a society confronts a "problem," such as a shortage of energy, or difficulty in gaining access to it, it tends to create new layers of bureaucracy, infrastructure, or social class to address the challenge.
Tainter, who first identifies seventeen examples of rapid collapse of societies, applies his model to three case studies: The Western Roman Empire, the Maya civilization, and the Chaco culture.
As the Roman Empire grew, the cost of maintaining communications, garrisons, civil government, etc. grew with it.
Eventually, this cost grew so great that any new challenges such as invasions and crop failures could not be solved by the acquisition of more territory.
Intense, authoritarian efforts to maintain cohesion by Domitian and Constantine the Great only led to an ever greater strain on the population.
We often assume that the collapse of the western Roman Empire was a catastrophe for everyone involved.
Tainter points out that it can be seen as a very rational preference of ordinary individuals at the time, many of whom were actually better off.
Average individuals may have benefited because they no longer had to invest in the burdensome complexity of empire.

In Tainter's view, while invasions, crop failures, disease or environmental degradation may be the apparent causes of societal collapse, the ultimate cause is an economic one, inherent in the structure of society rather than in external shocks which may batter them:
Finally, Tainter musters modern statistics to show that marginal returns on investments in energy, education and technological innovation are diminishing today.
The globalised modern world is subject to many of the same stresses that brought older societies to ruin.