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.

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