Poland to ban GM crops?
PR dla Zagranicy
The government has declared its support for a complete ban on GM crops, following discussions with representatives of Greenpeace.
“Both sides are of the same opinion on the need for the imposition of a ban, the only difference is in the methods used to achieve it,” Magdalena Sikorska, spokesperson for the Environment Ministry, has told the Polish Press Agency (PAP).
Last week, Agriculture Minister Marek Sawicki announced that the government would implement a ban on the cultivation of the genetically modified MON 810 maize. The minister claimed the seed might be responsible for a host of health problems and may even be the cause of the dwindling population of bees.
MON 810 is one of the few types of GMO crops that have been approved by the EU, and environmentalists claim over 3000 hectares of the crop already exist in Poland.
The government now wants to pass a law that circumvents the need to receive EU approval for a ban on any GMO crops.
Revised Polish regulations would stipulate that the ban may be implemented, and it will suffice to simply inform the European Commission of the matter.
“We are pleasantly surprised that the government is looking for a way of actually implementing the ban,” said Greenpeace spokesman Jacek Winiarski,
“We were afraid that the current legal situation allowed for an easy rejection of the ban by the European Commission.”
Last summer, President Bronislaw Komorowski - despite saying that there was no scientific evidence that GMO was harmful to health - vetoed a bill that environmentalists claimed would let GMO crops in through the back door.
Last month, seven EU countries blocked a proposal proposed by Denmark – which currently holds the EU presidency – that would allow for the cultivation of GM crops.
Seven days later, France imposed a temporary ban on MON 810, in spite of the fact that it has been cleared for use by the EU. (nh/pg)