Hebe News – Article 2
NEW EUROPEAN UNION REGULATIONS
I don’t know whether you are aware of the proposed new European Union regulations on sale of Plant Reproductive Materials. The wording of this proposed legislation requires all plant varieties sold in Europe to be listed on an official register, thus making it illegal to sell unregistered varieties. Due to the administrative cost of this measure (anticipated to be in the region of £500 per variety) it could result in many small nurseries being forced to close and many of the 75,000 plus plants currently listed in the RHS Plant finder being lost for ever. This could have a potentially devastating impact on many small specialist plant societies such as the Hebe Society since we are often concerned with plants that may have limited commercial value.
The consultation process on this finishes on the 4th December and we are being urged to write to the Members of the European Parliament who will be involved with this decision, to let them know our views on this (the proposals were developed partly as a result of recent meat scares, but the legislators appear unaware of the full impact of extending this to cultivated plant varieties.
I attach a link to the Plant Heritage site below, which lists the Members of the European Parliament involved, together with a draft letter to be sent to them. This would need to be modified somewhat if you felt it appropriate to write to them on behalf of the Hebe Society.
A stakeholder group, including the Royal Horticultural Society, National Farmers Union, Horticultural Trades Association and Department for Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs, DEFRA, has met an EU representative to explain these concerns. The legislation has been written to safeguard food security. An amendment to the bill will be proposed by DEFRA to minimise its impact on ornamental plants, but it will be up to MEPs to argue the case.
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