Europatat and other Stakeholders raise concerns over proposed plant reproductive material amendments

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Potato tubers in the field

Europatat and other Stakeholders raise concerns over proposed plant reproductive material amendments

april 17, 2024

The European Potato Trade Association (Europatat) is raising concerns about the draft report on Plant Reproductive Material (PRM) which is set for a vote in the European Parliament’s Plenary during the week of 22 April.

The report, prepared by the Parliament's Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI Committee), includes amendments that could have negative consequences on the EU PRM market. The proposed amendments will allow for a substantial part of PRM material to move around the European Union without any oversight from the Competent Authorities and without proper plant health checks.

Peter Ton, Chair of the Europatat Seed Potato Commission:
 

"There's a critical difference between various types of PRM. Seed potatoes and regular seeds have distinct characteristics and require different handling procedures. Seed potatoes carry a higher risk of spreading plant diseases, especially when transported over long distances."

"The Parliament's position needs to acknowledge these differences. Uncontrolled movement of seed potatoes across the EU would be detrimental and have serious consequences."

To address these and other concerns, a broad coalition of stakeholders representing the PRM sector and its users in the EU, including Copa-Cogeca, Euroseeds, Europatat, Coceral, the European Beet Growers (CIBE), and CEPM Maiz’Europe, co-signed a joint statement.

The co-signing organisations emphasise the importance of maintaining the balance achieved in the original proposal from the European Commission. 

They argue that the AGRI Committee report compromises this balance by introducing exemptions that could allow unchecked PRM to reach the market without proper assurances or traceability.

The statement cautions that this would likely result in the creation of a parallel, unregulated market that undermines the endeavors of plant breeders and farmers to enhance sustainability and ensure food security in Europe. 
 

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