7 September 2001

Seed row still rumbling on

GOVERNMENT officials will approach representatives of the seed trade to make it clear they disagree with some of their statements about farm-saved seed (FSS) scheme rules.

A row has been raging since the National Association of Agricultural Contractors and the NFU accused companies and bodies with an interest in selling certified seed of implying the process had become more difficult.

After taking legal advice, DEFRA has confirmed that there have been no changes to the scheme this year and that it does not have the power to withhold area payments if FSS rules are breached.

A spokeswoman said that officials were stating their case to bodies such as the British Society of Plant Breeders which had implied that using FSS could put payments at risk. &#42