Poland divided over GM crops

More than twenty Polish ecological farms have extended an invitation to MPs and senators to taste real organic food on the spot, at meetings organized in the second half of this month. This is a part of a nationwide campaign, aimed at showing the assets of traditional Polish farming and threats to its existence. It is sponsored by the International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside, which is fighting for a GMO free Poland. A draft law on Genetically Modified Organisms, which opens Poland up to commercial GMO plantations, – debated in parliament on December 15 – is seen by the ICPPC as a “death sentence for ecological and traditional farming”. The Coalition says that it causes confusion, telling Poles that GMO crops can be grown next to traditional ones, and will lead to the destruction of the natural bio-diversity. A heated debate on the pros and cons of GMOs has been going on in Poland for several years now, dividing scientists, food growers and consumers. A survey taken in three EU nations by the UK’s National Farm Research Unit found that support for GM crops among farmers was highest in Poland, with over 80 percent support, while 45 percent of British farmers wanted access to the crops. The Civic Platform government has refused to introduce a ban on GM maize MON 810, banned in seven EU Countries, including Germany and France. It has also refused to maintain the previous Law and Justice-led government’s ban on all import and trading of GM seeds and plants.

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