Speaking in a debate on EU Commission proposal on the SEEDS Directive (Plant Reproductive Materials) in Strasbourg, Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson called on all members to reject the Commission proposal.
Ms Anderson said:
“This proposal is a joke, it is not fit for purpose and the Commission really needs to go back to the drawing board on this one. This proposal would only increase uncertainty among growers and farmers.
“But it's not just about getting an improved communication strategy so that people understand it better - it's a better proposal that is required.
“This is a simple case of the Commission putting the needs of industry before farmers. Should the Commission proposal be accepted, this regulation would result in established farming practices becoming illegal. Farmers have enough uncertainty after the CAP Reform with those in Severely Disadvantaged Areas ( SDAs) keen to have the flat rate farm payment implemented sooner rather than later and the last thing they need is more uncertainty and more pressure.
“Seeds are a resource produced by nature and there should be no attempt to regulate their use in agriculture. Any attempt to do so, especially in times of food insecurity is preposterous.
“The Commission proposal also severely limits the freedom of the Member States and gives the Commission excessive powers over markets they are far removed from.
“I am happy to see that the Parliament today has followed the advice of the Agriculture Committee in rejecting this proposal and urge the Commission to withdraw is proposal."