Europe, UK, Ireland, News April 2024, Organizations in the News, Seed, Trade/Markets/Prices

Europatat and coalition call for reevaluation of Plant Reproductive Material legislation due to concerns over disease spread

In a pressing call to action, the European Potato Trade Association, Europatat, alongside a coalition of major agricultural stakeholders, has voiced significant concerns over proposed amendments to the Plant Reproductive Material (PRM) legislation, which are slated for a vote in the European Parliament during the week of April 22.

The contentious amendments, embedded within a draft report by the Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI Committee), are feared to potentially destabilize the EU’s PRM market. Critically, the proposed changes could permit a significant portion of PRM to circulate throughout the EU without sufficient oversight from Competent Authorities or necessary plant health inspections.

Peter Ton, Chair of the Europatat Seed Potato Commission, highlighted the unique vulnerabilities associated with seed potatoes compared to other seeds. “Seed potatoes and regular seeds have distinct characteristics and necessitate different handling procedures. The risk of spreading plant diseases is considerably higher with seed potatoes, particularly when transported across long distances,” Ton explained.

The proposed legislative overhaul has rallied a broad alliance of organizations representing the PRM sector and its users, including Copa-Cogeca, Euroseeds, Europatat, Coceral, the European Beet Growers (CIBE), and CEPM Maiz’Europe. Together, they have issued a joint statement underscoring the necessity to maintain the equilibrium set forth in the original proposal from the European Commission.

The coalition warns that the AGRI Committee’s report compromises this balance by introducing exemptions that could enable unchecked PRM to enter the market, lacking proper assurances or traceability. “This could potentially establish a parallel, uncontrolled market, undermining the concerted efforts of plant breeders and farmers to enhance sustainability and ensure food security in Europe,” the statement detailed.

In light of these concerns, the group is urging the European Parliament’s Plenary to reevaluate the amendments and revert to the Commission’s original proposal to forestall any potential crisis in the sector.

As the vote approaches, the implications of these amendments hang in the balance, with the potential to affect not only the PRM market but also the broader agricultural practices and food security within the EU.

For additional information or to express concerns, stakeholders and the public are encouraged to contact Europatat at

Source: Europatat. View original press release here
Cover image: Credit Bayer Crop Science

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