The Corner

Call Any Vegetable

Just in case you thought the Nanny State known as the EU wasn’t a big enough busybody, along comes this news item:

A new law proposed by the European Commission would make it illegal to “grow, reproduce or trade” any vegetable seeds that have not been “tested, approved and accepted” by a new EU bureaucracy named the “EU Plant Variety Agency.”

It’s called the Plant Reproductive Material Law, and it attempts to put the government in charge of virtually all plants and seeds. Home gardeners who grow their own plants from non-regulated seeds would be considered criminals under this law.

Well, why not? In the ongoing battle between Principles and Programs (and you know where I stand), once you compromise on principle, there’s no end to the number of programs you’re going to get, or the bureaucrats necessary to administer them. The principle in this case being that of individual sovereignty over something as simple as growing tomatoes in your own back yard. You can read the full text of the proposal in all its mind-numbing bafflegab jargon here, unless you’d prefer to gouge out your eyeballs with a spoon first. Or you can take a gander at the Orwellianly named “Citizens’ Summary” right here

WHAT IS BEING PROPOSED? The new law will : 

  • replace 12 Directives with a single Regulation 
  • grant more responsibility and flexibility to businesses dealing in plant reproductive material 
  • enhance biodiversity and opportunities for niche markets through less stringent requirements for old varieties and heterogeneous plant material,and for small local producers 
  • steer plant breeding towards environmental aims 
  • streamline administrative procedures to support innovation 
  • establish a level playing field by introducing the principle of cost recovery. 

Make you feel better about the fall of Soviet communism, doesn’t it? Liberty, equality, and all that jazz.

Most Popular

Film & TV

The Elephant Man: Neglected David Lynch Classic

Released in 1980, David Lynch’s The Elephant Man is the one Lynch film that found a mesmerizing middle ground between conventional Hollywood story structure and its director’s surreal dreamscapes. Yet today it seems on the verge of being forgotten, and that’s a shame. It’s an exceptionally unusual and ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Keeping Catholic Foster Care in Philly

Last week, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty filed a complaint in a Pennsylvania district court on behalf of foster parents working with Catholic Social Services at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Despite issuing a recent plea for more people to step up as candidates for foster parents, the city of ... Read More
Politics & Policy

De Blasio’s Delusions

In an interview with MSNBC, Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York, offers himself as a lodestar for the Democratic party, touting his “progressive economic populism” as a winning formula for 2020 and beyond. One gets the impression that de Blasio, who has never been known for his humility, believes he has a ... Read More