The European Commission has proposed extending the European Union's (EU) food crop seed quality control regime to many seeds imported from non-EU countries, including those for beet and oils.

Under the proposed changes to the European seed authorisation regime, exporting countries would have to demonstrate that the quality of their seeds had been checked by inspectors acting under the same guidelines as those working in the EU.

Meanwhile, ministers have been asked to streamline these European procedures for official seed certification, reducing the proportion of seed crops checked by inspectors, for instance. These could be simplified "without any significant decline in the quality of the seed" claimed a Commission memorandum.