INTERNATIONAL COALITION TO PROTECT THE POLISH COUNTRYSIDE

Strefa wol;na do GMO


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GMO FREE ZONES IN POLAND




"Genes Are not For Sale" Krakow International Summit: October 16/17 2008

To see photos from the summit [click]
Read the lecture "Genetically modified Seeds - Global Threat to Farmer Independence" by Julian Rose [click]

Dear Friends,

An intensive two days!

On the 16th and 17th October 2008, ICPPC embarked upon an ambitious programme of conference, protest and theatre, to highlight the dangers confronting the European countryside, citizens and the gene pool by the threat of genetic manipulation, seed patenting and unbridled corporate hegemony.

Weeks of preperation, particularly by the indifatigable Jadwiga, finally culminated in a very lively and successful 'summit'.
It was helped along by the last minute offer of a splendid chamber room in the Krakow town hall, needed to accomodate a greater number of participants than we had originally catered for.
Thanks to the mayor of Krakow, who also offered his patronage to the summit.

Speeches, from a top flight raft of speakers, were strong and to the point. We heard about the different GMO situations in Germany, Sweden, Holland and England, as well as powerful exposes of the complicit relationship between GM corporate agression and government intransigence in Poland and beyond.
Father Stanislow Jaromi, President of the St Francis of Asis' Ecological Movement, brought welcome support from the Association of Saint Francis, declaring that GM interference in the plant and food chain was an unaccetable procedure in the eyes of Franciscans. Nature is a scared resource which has to be protected and nurtured for the health and welfare of all species.
Januz Wojchiekowsky, Vice chairman of the agricultural committee of the European Parliament, announced his action to report the illegal planting of some 3,000 ha of GM maize in Poland, to the Polish main prosecutor.
The "singing ladies of Bienkowa" then entertained the 140 participants to some emotional Polish countryside songs, while plates of delicious local ecological produce were served and enjoyed.

The summit then moved off to the Rynek, Krakow's magnificent central market square, where conference participants, from different Countries, performed a short "silent" drama entitled "Genetic Deception." Of note was the quality of acting, considering that the majority of 'players' had no previous experience and had only rehearsed for about 6 hours the day before! Costume making, rehearsing and planning involving a number of indidviduals, all came together on the day - and the good teamwork paid off - as the press snapped away and a small and enthusiastic crowd gathered to watch 'the happening'.

After that, it was off to the famous monastery at Kalvaria, some 50 kilometres away, for the second phase of summit discussions and action plans. Forty people crammed into a small room with vaulted ceiling and a large portrait of Jesus Christ, gown pulled open to reveal a large heart.
These sessions are where future actions are planned and developed. Inspite of, or perhaps because of, the increasingly 'sold out' government GMO stance, participants felt fired up to increase efforts to build an effective resistance movement.
Saving local seeds, reinforcing provincial GMO Free Zones, exposing 'anti-life' genetic engineering propaganda and starting an international consumers organisation were the main action plans agreed, during an intensive 5 hour session on Friday morning. Participants were from all walks of life and appeared very determined to help raise awareness of the ever growing GM menace.

The 'summit' closed at 2pm on Friday17th October ... the same day that the corporate pro GMO Krakow conference, intended to influence Eastern European Countries to plant GMO, started.

Nothing like being ahead of the game!

Best wishes to all, Julian and Jadwiga

To see photos from the summit [click]
Read the lecture "Genetically modified Seeds - Global Threat to Farmer Independence" by Julian Rose [click]

Organizer: Sponsor: See placards:


27th April 2007

Conference "Genes Are Not For Sale"

Lectures

Dear Friends,

Just to keep you up-to-date: Our Krakow Conference 'Genes Are Not for Sale' which was set up to counteract an international Bio-Tech event in Krakow, drew approx 120 people to Wawel Castle and filled the room to capacity. Dr Arpad Pusztai, Percy Smeicher and Michel Dupont were the main international speakers, Prof. Magdalena Jaworska, Dr Zbigniew Hałat main Polish ones. They all hammered home the same message: There can be NO coexistence between GMO and traditional and organic crops; cross-contamination is inevitable - whatever the distance.

Percy Smeicher informed a rivetted audience that in the whole of Canada there is NO maize or oilseed rape left which is not contaminated by GMO. So it is impossible to grow conventional or organic maize and oilseed rape in Canada now. What is more, he confirmed that Monsanto is now informing him that he no longer even owns his crops. Presumably because the Monsanto corporation owns the patent therefore owns the crops once they are contaminated!! And still some people in Europe are diligently discussing what distance constitutes a 'safety zone' 10 metres? 50 metres? 100 metres?

Dr Pusztai gave a characteristicly thorough review of the 'nonscience' which is applied in the creation of genetically modified organisms. He particularly emphasised the fact that it is the very imprecise methods used to insert foreign genes that lies at the heart of the subsequent loss of control of the final organism.

Michel Dupont reminded everyone that when 'the process of democracy' fails to protect our food, environment and health, it is neccessary to intervene and take control of our future. The French 'reapers' have done just this and have thereby protected France from widespread GMO contamination over the past decade. They fight on ....Vive La France!

The unexpected participation of the vice chairman of the Ministry of the Environment Andrzej Szweda-Lewandowski led to a lively discussion. Participants were not impressed by his intervention on behalf of the recently proposed 'GMO Act'. He unconvincingly attempted to portray the government as 'an honest broker' seeking compromise between European Commission directives calling for enforcement of 'coexistence' measures and the Polish government's wish to remain GMO Free. Vice chairman Andrzej Szweda-Lewandowski was noticeably missing from the main conference proceedings and his message was out of tune with the reality.

Senator Henryk Gorski was presented with an ICPPC petition to the Polish government calling for the proposed new 'GMO Act' not to be ratified. So far there are1,500 signatures of organisations and individuals supporting this call and more are coming in every day. For signing please see http://icppc.pl/pl/gmo/open_letter.php.

Proceedings ended with strong suppport from participants to fight-on to keep Poland GMO Free and to support ICPPC's call for a European wide Moratoriun of all GMO. Widespread determination to resist any watering down of the current national GMO ban was also expressed.

A Brother from Benedictine Abbey Tyniec attended the conference. Brother Jan was to be seen long after the conference's conclusion, seated in front of an old oak table, carefully writing a letter to the Minister of Agriculture, Mr Lepper.

!!!We want to thank Jean-Louis Gueydon of Fondation pour une Terre Humaine for helping to support the mounting of this conference. Also several traditional and organic farmers/processors who, without charge, provided and prepared a superb spread of delicious eco friendly food for everyones consumption. See photo above. Smacznego!

best wishes to all,
Julian and Jadwiga

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