Tag Archives: Biodiversity

The EU wants to restrict seeds!!!1!!!one!!eleven

No reeeealy, believe me! It’s a petition after all. Here’s one of many Austrian newspaper articles on the topic.

The EU is the ultimate force of political evil in the world, we all know that. The EU wastes trillions of Euros every year on full body scanners, requires women to hand in their old sex toys and otherwise tries to infringe on our freedoms.

I am, of course, being only slightly facetious. If you look at the number of myths about the EU made up by newspapers since the early 1990’s, you might find yourself slightly overwhelmed by the stupidity floating around. One of the more ridiculous myths suggests fishing boats must carry a minimum of 200 condoms so the sailors can practice safe sex.

In short, the amount of nonsense about the EU floating around the media is staggering. If you see a story about the EU, be slightly weary.

However, I want to get back to the seeds I mentioned at the top. There is currently a lot of fear, at least in Austria, about the EU interfering with biodiversity and farmers’ rights to own/use/sell particular types of seeds.

The tabloid “Heute” “reported” that the EU wants to once again strip us of our God-given rights. Well, you can already see where this is going. The charges are the ones mentioned in the petition above: Basically, various rare seeds are to be restricted. That means no more green tomatoes and red cucumbers, etc. etc.

There’s only one problem with these allegations: They’re simply not true.

The EU law was only concerned with the compulsory registration of these seeds and the creation of norms guarding the safety and quality of them. The old, rare seeds would still be available to collectors and small enterprises, just like in the already existing laws. In short, nothing would change except that you would have to report which seeds you were planting and buying.

This was recently reported in “Der Standard”, quoting Mr. Borg: “Die Kommission schlage lediglich eine Vereinfachung der Meldepflicht vor. Ausgenommen von den EU-Vorschriften ist der Einsatz von Saatgut für private Zwecke.”

And in English: “The Commission merely suggests a simpler way of notification requirement. These prescriptions do not apply to the use of seeds for private use.”

The prescription (not a law!) has since been amended, though neither drastically nor have any of the points changed in their essence. And yet, this is counted as an “Austrian victory against the EU”. (Minister of Agriculture, Niki Berlakovic)

When will people stop talking crap and just take the time to research what is actually said?

This leads me to another point. The other day, I was talking to my uncle. He said something along the lines of “We need to know WHY laws are being passed. But companies will continue to prohibit that knowledge because that would interfere with their profit margin.”

I call bullshit on that, but that’s not my main point. I disagree with the “why?”. We do not need to know why a law is passed, at least not as a first step. Far more important is the knowledge WHAT is suggested and HOW that affects us. Knowing the exact details is often far too complicated and really up to experts, but we should be able to understand the broad gist of the laws and prescriptions, not only of the EU but most importantly in our own country. Currently, we are light-years away from that goal.

In two future posts, I will suggest ways to achieve that goal.