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Seeds and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

This Seeds and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) working group tackles the spread of seed privatisation, from regulations prioritising commercial seeds and permitting deregulation of GMOs, to intellectual property systems such as seed patents, the UPOV convention, etc. These policies violate peasants’ rights to seeds and destroy their seed autonomy, and as a consequence, their right to food sovereignty.

The Seeds and GMOs working group also aims to protect and promote farmers’ knowledge and expertise by demanding the legal recognition of farmers’ seed systems, which are criminalised both in Europe and internationally by regulatory frameworks that only recognise commercial seed systems.

The working group’s activities consist of virtual meetings, in-person meetings, participation in several coalitions of organisations at EU level, advocacy and institutional activities. We also produce analyses and positions and organise mobilisations at both the EU level, and also within several international processes (UPOV, CBD, etc).

Contact information

Coordinating committee members

Alessandra Cascina Malerbe


Tove Sundström



Staff support

Key objectives

  1. Adoption of a coherent EU legal framework implementing peasants’ right to seeds at national and European level.
  2. Maintain current EU legislation on GMOs (Directive 2001/18/CE) and, eventually, banning GMOs for cultivated plants.
  3. Recognition and adoption at EU level of a distinct legal framework for peasants’ seed systems, allowing peasant-to-peasant seed exchange and sale.
  4. Ban patents on plants obtained from essentially biological processes, and eventually, banning patents on all life forms.
  5. Facilitate knowledge exchange on peasants’ seed systems among ECVC members and allies.

Latest activity: Seeds and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)