French Bill Could Open Door For Sharing, Selling Of Seeds In Public Domain 07/07/2016 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch 2 Comments Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Next week, the French Senate is due to consider a bill on biodiversity for the third time. That bill, which could be modifying several legislations, might allow for the sharing and selling by non-governmental organisations of seeds in the public domain to non-commercial buyers, which is so far not permitted under the current French legislation, according to sources. In parallel, the International Seed Treaty extended its deadline for submissions in its consultation on farmers’ rights to 15 August. France has been discussing a new bill on “the reclaiming of biodiversity, nature and landscapes.” Discussions started in 2014. According to the Senate website, the bill has gone through two rounds of consideration by the National Assembly in 2015, the Senate in January, then back to the National Assembly in March, the Senate in May, and the National Assembly in June, and now will be considered from 11-13 July by the Senate. If approved, it should go back to the National Assembly at an unknown date for adoption. The bill [pdf] (in French) transmitted to the Senate on 6 July includes articles which could modify the rural and fishery code. Article 4 quarter states that non-governmental organisations would be allowed to transfer, share or sell seeds that are in the public domain to non-commercial users. This would allow NGOs already sharing and selling seeds to individual gardeners, which are not on the French National official seeds catalogue, to legalise their activities, and escape prosecution, according to a press release from Kokopelli, one of those associations. The French legislation on seeds is the result of the transposition of the applicable European Union rules, according to Blanche Magarinos-Rey, lawyer specialised in environmental law, and lawyer for Kokopelli. The European seed catalogue is the collection of all national catalogues of member states, she told Intellectual Property Watch. Article 4 quarter would then constitute an exception in the interpretation of the European Directive, she said, adding that Denmark published an administrative instruction with the same dispositions, but would remain in line with EU legislation. The activities of associations such as Kokopelli are key for the preservation of seed biodiversity, the release said. Seed Treaty Extends Deadline on Farmers’ Rights Consultation Separately, the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations decided to extend the deadline of the electronic Consultation on the Implementation of Article 9 (Farmers’ rights) of the treaty until 15 August. The results and outcomes of the electronic survey are expected to be presented at the Global Consultation of Farmers’ Rights in September 2016, hosted and organized by Indonesia and Norway, according to the ITPGRFA [pdf]. The survey is available in English, French, and Spanish. Image Credits: Flickr – Mouser Williams Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Catherine Saez may be reached at email@example.com."French Bill Could Open Door For Sharing, Selling Of Seeds In Public Domain" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.