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Britain's Prince Charles slams 'crazy' EU laws on seeds

Britain's Prince Charles slams 'crazy' EU laws on seeds

Prince of Wales

(LONDON) - The heir to the British throne, Prince Charles, described as "crazy" European Union legislation which prevents the sale of seeds from old vegetable varieties, in an interview released Wednesday.

Charles, long passionate about environmental issues, also described how he and his sister, Princess Anne, got hooked on gardening when they were given a small vegetable patch in the grounds of Buckingham Palace as youngsters.

His comments came in an interview with a BBC radio gardening show which he conducted wearing an embroidered long, brown coat compared by British newspapers to a dressing gown.

"What could be crazier than, I think, having the kind of EU legislation which made it impossible to sell the seeds of many of these wonderful old varieties that people have developed over thousands of years?" he said.

"Hundreds of varieties have been lost -- wonderful things which our forefathers took enormous trouble to develop and which, in many cases, are resistant to all sorts of prevalent diseases."

Under EU seeds marketing directives, seeds must meet minimum quality standards and old varieties fall foul of strict testing criteria.

Charles also uses the interview -- conducted at his country home at Highgrove, Gloucestershire, western England -- to talk about keeping pests off his collection of hostas, a green leafy plant which is particularly attractive to slugs.

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