EU’s Plant Reproductive Material Regulation

analytical Essay
1326 words
1326 words


This paper analyses the EU’s Plant Reproductive Material Regulation. This may seem to be a topic that does not concern regular EU citizens. On the contrary, it is highly significant for every one of us. This regulation massively influences which plant reproductive materials, either at supermarkets and markets or at other seed suppliers of your choice, can be bought. In order to understand what this regulation is about, we need to define what plant reproductive material even is. Plant reproductive material, short PRM, “is material of any kind of plants (from seeds up to fully grown trees) used for the production of other plants” (European Commission [2013]:1). With the overhaul of the current legislation, the European Union aims to facilitate an easier access for companies to the seed and PRM market of other EU countries and a regulation process that secures the seeds’ and plants’ health. This aim might seem noble, but would this overhaul support all kinds of enterprises or just pave the way for big companies like Monsanto to rule the market? This question is not easy to answer. As can be seen, there are many angles from which this regulation can be looked at. Therefore different perspectives on this topic will be analysed and the positive and negative outcomes of this regulation will be extracted. On this account, the focus will be on the work of the Austrian heirloom association ARCHE NOAH (Noah’s Ark) and the international agricultural company Monsanto.

1 History and Overhaul – Plant Reproductive Material Law

The cooperation of countries within the European Union regarding plant reproductive material has been an important issue ever since the founding days of the Union. The first legal foundation was set in the l...

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... Observatory (2013) “Closing in on our seeds”, in: [10.01.2013].

ETC Group (2013) “Putting the Cartel before the Horse ...and Farm, Seeds, Soil, Peasants, etc. Who Will Control Agricultural Inputs, 2013?”, in: [08.01.2014].

European Commission [2013] “Q&A on the Commission’s proposal for a new Plant reproductive material law”, in: [18.11.2013].

Monsanto (s.a.) “Monsanto at a Glance”, in: [08.01.2014].

Nielsen, Nikolaj (2013) “Seed industry to benefit from new EU regulation, NGO says”, in:, 06.05.2013, [10.01.2014].

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes the eu's plant reproductive material regulation, which influences which plant reproductive materials can be bought at supermarkets, markets, or other seed suppliers.
  • Opines that the european union aims to renew the current legislation with a new plant reproductive material law.
  • Explains that monsanto is one of the most dominant seed suppliers in the world and controls almost 30 per cent of worldwide seed market.
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