Heavy fine imposed on organic seed association in France
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
The Kokopelli Association was formed by people who had been involved in the protection of biodiversity, medicinal plants and the production of organic seeds since 1987. They created and ran the Botanical Garden of La Mhotte and Terre de Semences in Auvergne, France from 1991 to 1998: hundreds of varieties were grown for seeds on a 30 acre-land with the help of 45 people going through a process of social rehabilitation. The Association is a non-profit organization based in France with small independent branches in Italy, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany and Brazil. The Kokopelli Seed Foundation was created in December 2003 by Dominique Guillet to bring the Association' s message across: to give access to open-pollinated seeds, since it is the only way to alleviate hunger and to promote food security in a sustainable way.
The Kokopelli Association has 5,500 members; a dozen producers reproduce some 2,000 different varieties. This makes it the most important French genetic reservoir accessible to all. The company collects, conserves, multiples and sells the organic seeds of old varieties of vegetables and flowers which have been inherited for many years.
The Association was now fined € 17,130 by a court in Nîmes/France on 22 December 2006 for placing their seed on the market. Dominique Guillet, Chairman of Kokopelli, was found guilty of making “nonconforming varieties of seeds” available. The directive CEE 98/95 in favour of biodiversity has not been applied: due to this, the condemnation of Kokopelli was possible.
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