Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Environmentalists challenge Polish GM seed draft law
By Peter Gentle
News from Poland
Environmentalists demonstrated outside Poland’s parliament building on Tuesday before the first reading of an amended law on GM seeds on Wednesday.
Last August, President Bronislaw Komorowski vetoed a bill that had been criticised for letting genetically modified (GM) crops in through the back door.
The August bill had been prepared after a 2006 law banning GM crops in Poland was referred to the EU Court of Justice for failing to comply with EU policy.
It is against EU law to ban all GM seeds.
Komorowski claimed that the August bill was muddled and “legal junk”, and his veto was applauded by environmentalists.
However, the president is now himself being accused of letting GM crops in through the back door via the current draft law that has been prepared under his auspices.
Opponents of the draft law claim that the specifications are vague, and allow for the import of GM seeds for so-called personal use.
Conservative opposition party Law and Justice, as well the left-wing Democratic Left Alliance are both flatly opposed to GM crops being allowed into Poland.
However, Prime Minister Donald Tusk stated at a press conference on Monday, that although the government was in principle against GM, it remains necessary to find a legal compromise, as EU laws forbid a blanket ban on all GM seeds.