Commission will be asked to start again with PRM

Brussels EU parliament buildingAgriculture committee is set to ask Commission to start again with plant reproductive materials (PRM) proposals.

The European Parliament’s agriculture committee may well follow the lead of the environment committee, which last week voted to reject the commission’s new plant reproductive materials proposals.

Citing concerns on the number of delegated acts in the proposal and the large number of amendments submitted (1400), the chair of the agriculture committee, Paulo de Castro (Italian socialist MEP) is likely to ask the Commission to withdraw its legislative proposal and submit a new one after the elections in May.

In a meeting last week De Castro said "The draft law on plant reproductive material as proposed by the Commission is rather sensitive and at the same time very problematic. It includes a high number of delegated acts - and thus too wide powers for the Commission - and combines rules for seeds and other plant reproductive material in one legislative text. The majority of group coordinators therefore agreed that the best possible solution at this stage would be to reject the proposed text in its entirety."

Through its Brussels office the NFU has lobbied hard to prevent the potentially devastating impact of EU plant reproductive materials proposals coming to bear on the ornamentals industry. This impact would occur because of new requirements for plants marketed as named varieties to have ‘officially recognised descriptions’, and the cost of producing these for the 75,000 ornamental plant varieties currently on sale in the UK.

Working with other industry representatives, NFU lobbying has successfully persuaded Commission officials to agree our changes, and resulted in many MEPs submitting our proposed amendments to the regulation. The MEP backlash in response to concerns about impacts on the gardening sector has added significant weight to calls for the whole PRM proposal to be rejected.

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