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The European Commission

Food Safety

Food Safety

Health - Regulatory Committees - Standing Committee on Agricultural, Horticultural and Forestry Seeds and Plants

Short report of the meeting of the Standing Committee on Seeds and Propagating Material for Agriculture; Horticulture and Forestry held on 4 and 5 October 1999

Chairman: Mr. Del Bino (for items 1, 2)

Mr. Valvassori (for the other items)

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

The Chairman informed the committee, that since 20th September 99 the Directorate Public, Animal and Plant Health of the former DG VI moved to the new Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General.

1. Draft Commission Decision authorising the Member States to permit temporarily the marketing of forest reproductive material not satisfying the requirements of Council Directive 66/404/EEC and 71/161/EEC.

The decision would authorise for a limited period the marketing of forest reproductive material of certain plants meeting less stringent requirements, in order to overcome difficulties in supply experienced in Member States.

Voting: Favourable opinion by unanimous vote.

2. Draft Commission Decision extending the period referred to in Article 15 (2a) of Directive 66/403/EEC on the marketing of seed potatoes

This Decision extends the current period of the validity of Member States' authorisation to import seed potatoes from Canada until 31 March 2002. This is in line with the parallel derogation being granted under the Community Plant Health Regime.

Voting: Favourable opinion: 82 for and 5 abstensions.

3. Accelerated inscription of additional varieties into the Common Catalogue of Varieties of Agricultural Plant Species - varieties notified to the Commission between 1 July and 30 September 1999.

The Committee noted a list of 131 varieties eligible for listing in the Common Catalogue of Agricultural Plant Species.

As a point of information the Member States were asked if all the varieties subject to accelerated inscription to the Common Catalogue included any GMO variety. The delegations stated that, to the best of their knowledge, they did not.

The Standing Committee noted that, pursuant to Article 15 (4) of Council Directive 70/457/EEC, the delegations of all Member States stated or notified that their respective countries did not intend to lodge any application under the procedure laid down in Article 15 (2) of that Directive in respect of the 131 varieties, which were accepted in the other Member States and for which the communications provided for in Article 10(1) and (3) of the said Directive were made.

4. Possible amendment of Council Directive 66/401/EEC (seeds of fodder plants) in respect of the requirements on Avena fatua.

The Committee noted a request of Denmark aiming to replace the obligation to assess freedom from Avena fatua in seed testing (content of seeds of other plant species in a sample of a specified weight), should the seed crop be free from Avena fatua, in official field inspection.

In addition the Committee noted the results of an ISTA/EU Questionnaire on the occurrence of Avena fatua, A. ludoviciana and A. sterilis in seed samples of fodder plant species

An exchange of views took place.

5. Other business

The Committee noted the following:

(a) A request from France with the view to import from Switzerland propagating material of vine.

(b) An OECD programme of meetings on the accreditation of seed company laboratories, to be held in Changins, Switzerland, on 21 and 22 October 1999.

(c) Draft guidelines on variety denominations prepared by the Community Plant Variety Office.

(d) The progress made in Member States in order to establish national catalogues of "conservation varieties" (plant genetic resources) pursuant to the new Council Directive 98/95/EC.


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