INTERNATIONAL COALITION TO PROTECT THE POLISH COUNTRYSIDE

Strefa wol;na do GMO


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GMO FREE ZONES IN POLAND




6th August 2008

Dear friends,

Many, many thanks to those who sent letters to the President reminding him of the importance of maintaining the law forbidding the import of GM animal feeds due to take effect this month.
Unfortunately, Mr Kaczynski has failed to respoind positively. On July 25th, he signed a new act postponing the introduction of the act prohibiting import of GM animal feeds - for a further 4 years (till 2012)- thus satisfying the corporate lobby. The government is also now discussing ways to introduce the infamous GM crops 'co-existence' regulation so favoured by the European Union.

It is a very disappointing, if predictable, result. We now have a big fight on our hands to try to prevent the 'GM seeds ban' going a similar way - and 'co-existence' rules letting-in GM crops.To this end, and to create further pressure for a European wide GMO Moratorium, we are organising a 2 day "International Summit" in Krakow: please see below for details - we very much hope some of you may make it over!

Best wishes,

Julian and Jadwiga

POLAND'S GMO FREE STATUS ON THE EDGE OF DESTRUCTION

January 2008

Dear Friends,

The New Year in Poland has dawned with a grim reminder of the fickleness of political agendas. A 'volte face' by the ruling Civic Platform Minister for the Agriculture, Marek Sawicki, means that Poland's cherished status as a GMO Free Country is about to be dissolved.

Speaking in Brussels 21st January, Mr Sawicki declared that he would not enforce the GMO ban on animal feeds due for implementation this year. He went on to state that he was also interested in the production of certain GM plants in Poland, particularly potatoes. He cited the disease resistant characteristics of certain GM plants as the main potenetial benefit for the Country's farmers.

This announcement is the culmination of a period of deep unease amongst supporters of a GMO Free Poland, who have long recognised that Civic Platform has been working covertly to undermine the previous administration's prohibition of GMO and the introduction of a GMO animal feed ban.

It is always galling when political figureheads say one thing but do another. Such hypocracy has been played out with particular effect in this case, as all the oratory suggested a firm committment to maintaining the current ban - inspite of the threat of fines from the European Commission for nonconformation with it's decree that individual member states have no authority to institute a blanket ban GMO.

We are pulling out all the stops to try and prevent a meltdown of all that has been achieved over the past 3 years .... and we know you too will feel a sense of repulsion and pain at this outright deception of the Polish public. We therefore call upon you to MAKE ONE MORE EFFORT TO HELP US CONVINCE MR SAWICKI TO CHANGE HIS MIND - AND TO COME IN LINE WITH THE VAST MAJORITY OF EUROPEAN CITIZENS WHO HAVE ALREADY REJECTED GMO ON HEALTH, WELFARE AND ENVIRONMENTAL GROUNDS.

We have such an amazing opportunity at this precise point in time to press calls for a COMPLETE MORATORIUM of GMO across the whole of Europe. Prezident Sarkozy of France has taken the first genuinely meaningful step by a political figure, by assembling an independent team of experts to examine the case of MON 810 GM maize and then acting on the conclusion of this team, by outright banning this GM product.

Stavros Dimas, The EU Commissioner for the Environment, has also expressed severe reservations concerning GMO. Austria, Greece and Hungary have all held firm in their commitment to prohibiting specific GMO plants which the Commission has stated they must accept. Other Countries, such as Germany, are also moving in the same direction. NEVER HAS THERE BEEN A BETTER TIME FOR CARYING THROUGH OUR DESIRE FOR A GMO FREE EUROPE.

If Poland were to also dig her heels in and refuse to capitulate to Corporate and EU commission pressures, the balance might well be tipped decicisively in our favour and the Commission's beaurocrats would no longer be able to impose their will on the citizens of Europe.

We call upon you to please add your voice to those demanding non capitulation!! Just a few well chosen words written in Solidarity with the Polish people will be invaluable in keeping this pivotally important battle alive! Remember, the results will affect us all! Don't ignore this call - YOUR EFFORTS REALLY COUNT.

Please send your comments to:

Minister of Agriculture:
Marek Sawicki
Marek.Sawicki@sejm.pl , kancelaria@minrol.gov.pl.
Ministerstwo Rolnictwa i Rozwoju Wsi
ul. Wspolna 30
00-930 Warszawa
tel.: 0048 22 623 15 10
fax: 0048 22 623 17 88

Minister of Environment:
Maciej Nowicki
minister.srodowiska@mos.gov.pl
ul. Wawelska 52/54
00-922 Warszawa
Tel.: 0048 22 57 92 400, 57 92 222
Fax: 0048 22 57 92 224

With warm wishes to all,

Julian Rose and Jadwiga Lopata
1st August 2006

The Polish Parliament has put a ban on the use of GMOs in animal fodder

Sorry for the delay in getting this great news out. We were overloaded until now.

!!!After passing an act, in May this year, banning the import and trading of GM seeds, the Polish Senate and Sejm (upper and lower hoses) have now passed an Act on animal fodder. The Act, passed on July 22 2006," bans the production, the putting into circulation and the use of genetically modified fodder and genetically modified organisms destined for fodder use in animal feeding." The ban will be in force within 24 months.

This is another huge step forward in the battle against GMO in Poland. It will reverse the current reliance on GM soya and maize in pig, poultry and dairy production on the larger Polish farms and will also protect smaller farms from unwittingly purchasing GM feed. Poland is more than capable of producing all the fodder required to maintain current livestock levels and to be self sufficient in indigenous, traditional (non soya) animal feeds. Food quality and consumer health will benefit through being protected from the residual effects of feeding animals on GM products, giving Poland a leading position as a GMO free food producer.

!!! ICPPC has consistently pressed for a ban of all GMO products in Polish agriculture with strong support from Provincial authorities, some politicians, farmers, international activists and other organisations. In the latest situation, it was possible to introduce a key 'no GMO' ammendement to the animal feed act just before it was put to the vote in the upper house/Senat/ of the Polish parliament and then accepted by the lower house/Sejm/. In many ways, an astonishing event.

!!! The significance of this Polish initiative is bound to have repercussions right accross Europe and it remains to be seen what the European Commission will make of such resistance! Whatever results, we hope it will give new heart to all who continue the battle for a GMO Free Europe, often in a climate of official repression and intimidation. Two years ago it was (almost) unthinkable to believe that Poland might lead the anti-GMO way in Europe. But it is now a reality and gives all of us a great opportunity to push our respective governments to take similar actions.

READ ALSO "Animal Feed Act" by Julian Rose
18th May, 2006

Dear Friends

The news has just come through that President Lech Kaczynski has signed the parlaimentary act introducing a ban on the trading of genetically modified seeds in Poland.

The act forbids the import of GM seeds and the inclusion of genetically modified seeds/plants in the national plant record. This is a joint success of the representatives of local authorities in the provinces, non-governmental organisations, farmers, politicians and scientists!

Many thanks to all those who also responded to our call to send letters to the President.

The passing of this act is a remarkable step that will set an important precedent for all EU Countries and beyond. This action now puts Poland on a collision course with the European Commission which has consistently refused to accept National or regional independent banning of GMO's.

We believe that it also lends further weight to our call for a complete moratorium / ban on all GMO's in Europe and to the inherently unworkable idea of "coexistence" between GM and non-GM crops.

With kind greetings,

Jadwiga Lopata and Julian Rose


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