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Food Safety

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

Short report of the Joint Meeting of the Standing Committees on "Seed and Propagating Material for Agriculture, Horticulture and Forestry" (SCSP), "Propagating Material of Ornamental Plants" (SCPOP) and "Propagating Material of Fruit Plants" (SCPFP) held on 29 and 30 November 2000

Chairman: Mr Valvassori (items 1 to 3 and 7); Mr Foletto (items 4 to 6).

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

1. Draft Commission Decision amending Decision 95/232/EC on the organisation of a temporary experiment under Council Directive 69/208/EEC in order to establish conditions to be satisfied by the seed of hybrids and varietal associations of swede rape and turnip rape (doc. SANCO/3108/00).

By the adoption of the Commission Decision 95/232/EC the organisation of a temporary experiment under Council Directive 69/208/EEC was decided in order to establish conditions to be satisfied by the seed of hybrids and varietal associations of swede rape and turnip rape.

The experiment was designed to seek improved alternatives to certain elements of the certification scheme adopted under the above mentioned Council Directive in respect of seed of hybrids and varietal associations of swede rape and turnip rape. During the course of the experiment the technologies related to the production of such seeds, in particular in respect of male/sterility systems developed. In these circumstances it has not been possible yet to draw proper conclusions. This Decision extends, until 30 June 2002, the period of the current experiment with the aim of assessing whether adaptations should be made to the Community provisions in the future.

Voting (SCSP): Favourable opinion by unanimous vote.

2. Possible Commission Decision authorising Member States to permit temporarily the marketing of seed of timothy (Phleum pratense) not satisfying the requirements of Council Directive 66/401/EEC.

The Committee (SCSP) continued the discussion on a request from Finland and assessed that it is possible to cover such a demand satisfactorily with seed from other Member States and from third countries.

Finland withdrew its request.

3. Common Catalogues of varieties of Agricultural Plant Species and Vegetables

3.1. Electronic exchange of data

The Commission (SANCO E.1) supplied an information on the data base developments, in particular in respect of the current status of loading and testing the base, as well as in respect of the plans for the near future. These plans will include in particular:

- electronic exchange of data (a demonstration to the Member States will be organised within an ad hoc Working Party to be held end of January/beginning of February 2001);

- development of the part of the programme related to the application for acceptance of a variety as notified by Member States.

3.2. Suitability of denominations of varieties

The Commission (SANCO E.1) reiterated that, from the entry into force of the Commission Regulation (EC) n° 930/2000 (25 May 2000), any proposal for a variety denomination needs to be notified to the Commission and the other Member States.

Such notification should also indicate whether the variety denomination, which has been proposed by the applicant was intended to be in the form of a "fancy name" or a code.

The Committee noted the availability of the CPVO to assess the suitability of the proposed denominations, making use of the data bases which it also consults in respect of denominations proposed for varieties which are candidates for Community plant variety protection, and undertook to study in depth such an availability. Meantime it supported the proposition to charge an ad hoc Group of Rapporteurs to examine possible difficult cases with a view to advising the Standing Committee.

4. Development of the Community Comparative Trials.

The Committees noted that in the future the Community Comparative Trials would be carried out under a call for tender. The prior information notice was published in the OJ/S on 23 November 2000. In the first quarter of next year a call for tender will be published.

A first set of draft technical protocols (agriculture, vegetable, vine, fruit, and ornamental plants) was distributed.

The Committees were asked to reflect about the list of crops to be submitted to the trials and about the relevant protocols.

The Commission (SANCO E.1) suggested that ad hoc meetings of rapporteurs might develop the draft protocols during the second and third week of January 2001. A further meeting of the Standing Committees might then be organised.

5. Exchange of views on the working programme on certain areas covered by the Standing Committee of Propagating Material of Ornamental Plants (SCPOP).

The Committee (SCPOP) noted that certain points of the Council Directive 98/56 need a more detailed discussion, in particular in respect of the specific harmful organisms and diseases of quality affecting significance (Article 5).

The Committee (SCPOP) underlined that an updated information on the implementation of the Directive by Member States would be a basis for the assessment of the functioning of the internal market. A questionnaire was proposed as good tool for a future debate.

6. Exchange of views on the working programme on certain areas covered by the Standing Committee of Fruit Plants (SCPFP).

In the light of experiences from the adoption, the Committee (SCPFP) noted that certain points of the Council Directive 92/34 need a more detailed discussion, in particular:

- possible extension to new genera and species (Article 1(3)),

- the category CAC (Article 3, point (f)),

- measures to be taken by the suppliers to guarantee compliance with the standards, as well as supervision and monitoring of suppliers (Articles 5 and 6).

Furthermore the Committee (SCPFP) suggested to take into account the scientific and technical progress in the area, including the question of genetically modified plants.

A questionnaire was proposed as a good tool for a future debate.

7. Other business.

The Committees

(a) were informed (SANCO E.1) on the work of the Expert Groups on Sampling and Detection of GM seeds in conventional seeds. The Member States Delegations will receive an invitation from the Commission - JRC (Ispra) to participate to the meeting end January 2001 - beginning February 2001 of the laboratories participating to the EU - GMO network.

(b) were informed (Italy - ENSE) on the results of meetings recently organized by the Economic Commission of Europe (United Nations) on international standards for seed potatoes.

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 Seeds and Propagating Material Date : 29 - 30 November 2000

Etat Membre

Ministère ou Organisme

Nombre de personnes


Ministère Agriculture et des Classes Moyennes









Ministry of Agriculture



Ministerio de Medio Ambiente



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



Forest Service, Department of the Marine and Natural Resources



Ministero delle Politiche Agricole, Direzione Generale Risorse Forestali + ENSE



Administration des Service Techniques de l'Agriculture



Ministry of Agriculture, Nature, Management and Fisheries and Naktuinbouw



BFL Institute



Ministerio da Agricultura - Direcção Geral de Protecção das Culturas



Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry



Swedish Board of Agriculture






Ministry of Agriculture



European Commission - SANCO



Community Plant Variety Office






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