INTERNATIONAL COALITION TO PROTECT THE POLISH COUNTRYSIDE

Strefa wol;na do GMO


Contact:

Fundacja ICPPC
34-146 Stryszów 156
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e-mail: biuro@icppc.pl
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GMO FREE ZONES IN POLAND




ANTI-GMO RESISTANCE IN POLAND: ITS ROOTS AND FRUITS

Against all odds, the present Polish government passed, in May 2006, a `Seed Act´ which forbids the import of GM seeds to Poland and the inclusion of genetiucally modified seeds and plants in the national plant record. Later on, it also passed an Act banning GM animal feed as of the year 2008.

This action put Poland on a collision course with the European Commission which has consistently refused to accept national or regional banning of GMO.

The Polish government, under pressure from EU and GM corporations, drafted a new legal document in February 2007, supposedly aimed at finding an `acceptable´ way of meeting the Commission´s demand for the Country to conform to the European status quo.

There is a real danger that this new Act is about to open a door for the commercial planting of GMO in Poland.

That document is now in the European Commission - and will soon be returned for debate and ratification by the Polish parliament.

What the document proposes and the outcome of the parliamentry debate, are crucial to the future of Poland´s unique status as a GMO Free Zone. At the present moment the ban remains in effect

ICPPC led the campaign which culminated in the GMO ban being put in place. We believe that the protection of the Polish countryside and the quality food production which comes from it, is of the highest priority. Preventing GMO contamination was therefore of paramount importance.

There are still more than one and a half million small family farms in Poland and they practice a form of subsistance agriculture which can act as a model for Western European farming in the future.

The biodiversity resulting from this long-term ecological management of the land is the most extensive in Europe, and many rare seeds and plant varieties are still in circulation.

At the forefront of threats to Polish food and the environment is the insiduous introduction of genetically modified organisms. GMO will, if allowed to get established, quickly contaminate the plant and food chain leading to the unrecallable pollution of our native species.

Examples abound from around the World, of the unintended cross contamination of crops and of gene altered seeds getting into the food chain. A recent example being US Bayer GM rice finding its way into markets throughout Europe.

ICPPC´s strategy was to establish 'GMO Free Zones' in all Polish Provinces as a symbolic and practical action designed to both stop any incursion of GM crops and to raise public awareness of the dangers.

We targetted the Provincial board of each Province.

By February 2006, all 16 Polish provinces had declared themselves GMO Free. When the new government came into power in October 2005, the President pledged to stand up against GMO and has acted accordingly. However, the government is now wavering in it´s commitment to resist EU and corporate pressures.

As a result, the GMO threat to Poland remains very real. Field trials are under development and the public is flooded with pro GMO propaganda.

It is clear that a single Country cannot win this battle on it´s own.

Therefore we are committed to calling for a complete ban on GMO throughout Europe.

We are particularly concerned about the European Commission's attempt to force Countries to introduce 'co-existence' rules that would allow the planting of GMO at specified distances from conventional and organic crops.

Major cross contamination problems have already occured all over the world. In the USA and Canada the problem exists on a huge scale. There cannot be `coexistence´ between GM and conventional and organic crops.
As we know, pollen is spread far and wide by wind, bees and people. So it is tantamount to provoking a deliberate act of sabotage to force Countries to adopt coexistence policies.

Official opinion polls show that approximately 80% of European citizens do not want GM food and agriculture. We now have the opportunity to use this strength, as well as the rapidly accumulating volume of incriminating evidence, to call for a complete GMO ban and support for all those fighting for the same ends around the World.

The future is dependent upon distancing ourselves from the food industry´s `global market´ and the hypermarket processing of our palates. We are presented with a real neccessity to come together and work for a renaissance of local `real food´ and heighten our efforts to protect indigenous variety, in all domains of life.


Julian Rose and Jadwiga Lopata,
president and vice president ICPPC

© ICPPC - INTERNATIONAL COALITION TO PROTECT THE POLISH COUNTRYSIDE
MIĘDZYNARODOWA KOALICJA DLA OCHRONY POLSKIEJ WSI
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