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Food and Feed Safety (20-03-2009)

Commission to simplify seed marketing legislation

The European Commission plans to simplify the seed marketing legislation in order to ensure the free movement of high-quality seed and plant propagating material (S&PM).
The Commission's plans were discussed on Wednesday, March 18, at the European Conference on Ensuring Seed Availability in the 21st Century. In particular, the conference offered a platform to present and discuss the results of the evaluation of the Community legislation on marketing S&PM, as an important first step to review the legislation. Seed marketing is a global business, and presentations made, among others, by representatives of international bodies, the European Parliament and technical experts allowed to place the planned review in a broader international context. The stakeholders present at the conference expressed their support to the Commission's intention to simplify the legislation, which currently is made up of 12 Directives.
Since the first adoption of the legislation in the 1960s, new priorities, such as good agricultural practice, sustainability and protection of the environment including the protection of genetic diversity and food safety have come to the fore. Equally, new breeding techniques have been developed and the structure of S&PM has changed, developing into a global business.
Seed makes fibre, flowers and fuel, but most of all it makes food and feed. As such it is the first link in the food chain.
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