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Food Safety

Health - Regulatory Committees - Standing Committee on propagating material and ornamental plants 

Short report of the Joint Meeting of the Standing Committees on "Seed and Propagating Material for Agriculture, Horticulture and Forestry" (SCS), "Propagating Material of Ornamental Plants" (SCO) and "Propagating Material of Fruit Plants" (SCF) held on 22 and 23 February 2001.

Chairman: M. Del Bino (item 2), Mr Valvassori (remaining items)

All Member States present. The Community Plant Office (CPVO) and Norway participated as observers.

1. Draft Commission Decision providing for the temporary marketing of seed of certain species not satisfying the requirments of Council Directives 66/401/EEC, 66/402/EEC and 69/208/EEC.

The draft Decisions aims to permit for a period expiring on 30 June 2001 the marketing of seed of spring varieties of field pea, field bean, blue lupin, wheat, soya bean and linseed subject to less stringent requirements.

Voting: Favourable opinion by unanimous vote.

2. Adventitious presence of GM seeds in seeds of conventional plant varieties.

2.1. Plan for co-ordinated and harmonized interim actions by MS

After having clarified certain legal aspects related to the harmonized interim action plan, as established in an earlier meeting of the SCS held on 10 July 2000 (see report SCS, 9 November 2000, point 4), the Commission requested MS to provide a detailed information on the actual situation concerning the implementation of such a plan.

Two delegations reiterated that they were not in the position to implement the plan.

All the other delegations confirmed that they either implement already or will implement the plan in respect to the forthcoming sowing campaign.

Certain aspects were underlined by various MS:

- the liability implications (if the seed lots do not meet the GM standards) needed to be clarified;

- Community methods of sampling and testing did not exists yet;

- a Community solidarity instrument needed to be considered;

- the plan did not address the question of penalties applicable to infringements;

2.2. Possible amendments to be made to the Annexes of the Directive on the marketing of seeds

The Commission confirmed that the announced opinion of the Commission Scientific Committee on Plants was expected (meeting to be held on 7 March 2001). It also confirmed that a working document on "GM seed Thresholds and the current minimum varietal purity standards" will be circulated. Furthermore the Commission informed on the results of the meetings on methods of sampling and of detection of GMOs impurities in seed of conventional varieties held on 24 and 25 January 2001 respectively.

The Member States' Delegations confirmed their positions as presented in the previous meeting of 22 - 23 January 2001.

3. Community actions in the areas of seed in bulk, hybrids and varietal association of swede and turnip repa, sampling and texting, varieties not yet listed, increasing the maximum weight of a lot of fodder plant seed

a) Seed in bulk (Commission Decision 94/650/EC)

The Committee confirmed, on the basis of the progress reports on the results of the experiment under Commission Decision 94/650/EC, that marketing of seed in bulk to the final consumer under specified conditions could bring about a saving of costs in relation to the packaging material and subsequent disposal thereof, without adversely affecting the quality of the seed offered to the final consumer.

The Member States participating in the experiment undertook to update, until 1 st March 2001, their reports.

b) Hybrids and varietal association of swede and turnip rape (Commission Decision 95/232/EC)

The Committee agreed to discuss the subject at the meeting of Committee of Experts on the Community Comparative Trials of swede rape, to be held on 26 - 27 April 2001, Cambridge, UK.

On the occasion a delegation reiterated the development of the plant breeding in the area of varietal association of maize.

c) Seed sampling and texting (Commission Decision 98/320/EC)

The Member States confirmed their agreement to supply updated information on the experiences gained during their participation in the experiment.

d) Varieties not yet listed varieties

Exploratory talks were carried out on the basis of a Working Paper suggesting the possible conditions under which the marketing throughout the Community of seed of varieties not yet listed may be authorised.

e) Increasing the maximum weight of a lot of fodder plant seed

The Committee noted a documentation related to the "ISTA/FIS Experiment on Herbage Lot Size".

The Committee suggested to wait for the results of this experiment (to assess by ISTA in June 2001).

4. Community Comparative Trials on seed and propagating material

The Committee noted the following draft technical protocols:

- under SCS

  • Grasses
  • Maize
  • Wheat
  • Potato
  • Cotton
  • Soya bean
  • Swede rape
  • Sunflower
  • Seed testing (Commission Decision 98/320/EEC on the organization of a temporary experiment on seed sampling and seed testing - Art. 3(8))
  • Tomato (Council Directive 70/458/EEC)
  • Shallot (Council Directive 98/33/EEC)
  • Vine

- under SCO

  • Lobelia/Lathyrus/Petunia
  • Narcissus
  • Chamaeciparis
  • Euphorbia fulgens
  • Ligustrum vulgare

- under SCF

  • Plum

Suggestions were made in particular on

  • the methodologies to be followed for the execution of the trials
  • the relationship, where applicable, with the Community Plant Health Regime.

5. Other business.

The Committee noted:

(a) an information on the meeting of the Common Catalogue of Varieties held on 20 - 21 February 2001.

(b) the agenda of the meeting of the Specialized Section on Standardization of Seed Potatoes, UN/Economic Commission for Europe, Geneva, 12 - 14 March 2001.

(c) suggestions to update the Committee on the progress on "codification" of the Council Seed Directives.

N.B: The measures on which the Committee has given an opinion are subject to the appropriate procedure for final adoption by the Commission.

List of participants

Standing Committee on Seed and Propagating Material for Agriculture, Horticulture and Forestry", "Propagating Material of Ornamental Plants" and "Propagating Material of Fruit Plants Date : 22 - 23 February 2001

 

1 + 1

IRL

Forest Service, Department of the Marine and Natural Resources

2

I

Ministero delle Politiche Agricole, Direzione Generale Risorse Forestali + ENSE

1 + 1

L

Administration des Service Techniques de l'Agriculture

1

NL

Ministry of Agriculture, Nature, Management and Fisheries and Naktuinbouw

1 + 2

A

BFL Institut + Bundesministerium

1 + 1

P

Ministerio da Agricultura - Direcção Geral de Protecção das Culturas

2

FIN

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

1

S

Swedish Board of Agriculture + Jordbruksdepartementet

2+1

UK

MAFF

2

N

Ministry of Agriculture

1

COM

European Commission

9

CPVO

Community Plant Variety Office

1

 

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[ ©] - [ HEALTH] - [ REGULATORY COMMITTEES] - [ STANDING COMMITTEE ON PROPAGATING MATERIAL AND ORNAMENTAL PLANTS ]

Etat Membre

Ministère ou Organisme

Nombre de personnes

BE

Ministère Agriculture et des Classes Moyennes

2

DK

Plantedirektoratet

2

D

Bundessortenamt + Biologische Bundesanstalt

2 + 1

EL

Ministry of Agriculture

2

E

Ministerio de Medio Ambiente

2

F

Ministère de l'agriculture et de la pêche sous direction de la foret + GNIS

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Swedish Board of Agriculture + Jordbruksdepartementet

2+1

UK

MAFF

2

N

Ministry of Agriculture

1

COM

European Commission

9

CPVO

Community Plant Variety Office

1

 

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[ ©] - [ HEALTH] - [ REGULATORY COMMITTEES] - [ STANDING COMMITTEE ON PROPAGATING MATERIAL AND ORNAMENTAL PLANTS ]

 
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