The European Union authorises the sale of campesino seeds

8 May 2018
By Axel Leclercq
For ‘Biodiversidad en América Latina y El Caribe’

After years of struggle, defenders of biodiversity have finally got some satisfaction. From May this year [2018] you can have access to your seeds without being outlawed for it. Victory! As of May, organic farmers can sell the seeds of their own produce. Thus decided EU Deputies, much to the disgust of Monsanto and similar companies.

Until now, only seeds listed in an official catalogue could be legally commercialised. As the French newspaper Le Figaro indicated, “the majority of these seeds belonged to multinationals such as Monsanto. The result was a standardisation of fruit and vegetables, a standardisation of our diet and an impoverishment of biodiversity.”

But last Thursday [Thursday 3rd May 2018] Deputies of the European Union put an end to the ‘criminalisation of so-called campesino seeds. With a view to new legislation whose aim is to support organic agriculture, they adopted a measure which permits organic farmers to sell seeds from their ‘domestic’ crops.

This decision, which becomes active in two and a half years, in 2021, brings to an end 37 years of restrictions – the commercialisation of seeds outside the official catalogue was prohibited by a 1981 decree.

All organic farmers will be able to develop their own varieties and to commercialise them as had always happened in the past. The aim is to promote the vitality of our biodiversity, to revive thousands of varieties of fruit and vegetables which exist and to counter the worrying statistics supplied by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and re-broadcast by Le Figaro: namely, that three-quarters of our current foodstuffs come from only twelve plant species and five animal species.