Proposed EU Plant Reproductive Material legislation
The EU may be a love it or hate organisation for you but in the interests of club members who enjoy being part of the many seed exchange schemes like the ones run by the SRGC, the AGS, The Hepatica Society etc etc I want to draw your attention to the threat outlined below. I would ask that you support Carole Bainbridge and others who are fighting to ensure gardening can remain a worthwhile hobby and not just something available to the few. I copied this from the SRGC Forum.
Notes from the SRGC President:
The Scottish Rock Garden Club joins many other gardening organisations in calling for changes to the proposed EU Plant Reproductive Material legislation.
The SRGC is highlighting that the proposed EU Plant Reproductive Material legislation, in its currently-drafted form is likely to have serious unintended consequences for rock gardeners and for the valuable exchange of seeds between individuals and clubs.
The draft legislation, which was said to be intended to improve consumer protection and allow businesses and amateurs to be sure that seed they are buying is true to the label, has raised comprehensive catch-all clauses which mean that ‘home garden’ seeds will be treated in the same way as the most widely-used commercial crops.
The SRGC wishes to raise awareness of the potential negative impacts of the proposed legislation that currently requires ‘breeders’ or sellers to pay a fee of between £300 and £500 to register each plant name. With the thousands of wild species exchanged by seed exchanges, this cost would be totally prohibitive, lead to the loss of seed exchanges and potentially jeopardise ex-situ plant conservation projects.
The SRGC suggests either that this proposed legislation should be rejected, or is amended to exempt non-commercial, amateur and ‘home garden’ seed from the regulations, as is the case in the existing legislation. We suggest that members might like to write to their MEPs, anda.let them know that you are very worried by the proposed EU Plant Reproductive Material legislation. b.tell them that amateur gardeners should be able to choose any decorative plants they wish to grow in their own gardens (subject to national and/or international pest or conservation legislation), rather than from a list of ‘EU-approved’ species. c.explain that you should continue to be able to buy and exchange small packets of seed suitable for private gardeners, as opposed to seed for large-scale agriculture or horticulture. d.If the legislation were to persist, any plant species in the International Plant Nomenclature Index (IPNI) or any variety listed in the UK Royal Horticultural Society’s ‘Plant Finder’ should be considered to have an approved description and registered name. e.Ask them to ensure the draft legislation is amended to exempt amateur and non-commercial seed sales and exchanges.
Dr. Carole Bainbridge, SRGC President.The relevant MEPs within Scotland are George Lyon Struan Stevenson Alyn Smith
Further information and discussion on such matters in the SRGC Forum : http://www.srgc.net/forum/index.php?topic=10845.0
For other MEPS in other countries:
and email addresses for those MEPS closely involved in the relevant committees:
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- 15 Jan, 2014
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