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On-the-spot France

French seed bank continues illegal seed trade

Audio 04:03
Packages of native North American seeds kept in cold storage
Packages of native North American seeds kept in cold storage R.C. Johnson/Wikimedia Commons

Under French - and European - law, it is illegal to sell or distribute seeds without first registering them in an official catalogue. The process means the seeds have been tested and certified. That takes time and money and runs counter to the way gardeners and farmers have planted their crops for centuries. Kokopelli, a French seed bank, has argued that the law harms biodiversity in Europe and in the world. It has taken a case all the way to the European Court of Justice, and is pushing for the EU to rethink the law.

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