MEPs vote to send Commission back to drawing board on seeds

The European Parliament's Agriculture Committee today (Tuesday) voted in favour of a resolution which rejects draft EU legislation on seeds and seed marketing.

Alyn Smith, SNP MEP and member of the Committee, welcomed the rejection and called it "the only sensible step".

Speaking after the vote, Alyn said:

"In rejecting this ill thought-out proposal from the Commission, the Agriculture Committee has voted to put the interests of farmers, long term food security and agro-biodiversity first.

"I have received hundreds of emails from concerned constituents worried about the impact this draft legislation might have on the availability of seeds and on the impact it may have on biodiversity. The Commission’s proposal would have seriously restricted the freedom of operators working in specific sectors. Only seeds produced and sold for commercial use should be covered by any future legislation and this implies a narrower scope than what is now on the table.

"The decision by the Commission to move 12 directives into a single regulation has simply raised more questions than it has answered and I am glad my colleagues recognised this and have taken the only sensible step.

"I hope to see today's vote confirmed by the full Parliament and the Commission sent back to the drawing board to think again. Any new proposal must fully respect the rights of gardeners and small breeders, and should enhance genetic diversity instead of reducing it."