GENET archive


2-Plants: GE news from Poland and the Czech Republic

                                 PART I
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TITLE:  Commission forbids the limitation of GMO cultivation
SOURCE: Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland, by Krystyna Naszkowska & Konrad Niklewic,52981,3205682.html
        translated by Agnieszka Suchecka,
        Coordination Paysanne Européenne, Belgium
DATE:   10 Mar 2006

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Commission forbids the limitation of GMO cultivation

(Gazeta Wyborcza- GW- is the second biggest newspaper in Poland, which is
perceived as the most influential newspaper)

Who will legislate ban of GMO plants will break EU law cautions EU
commission. And announces also that "disobedient" countries will be taken
to the Tribunal. And Poland does not want GMO.

Last Friday the EU Commission published a report on GM plants and food.
Brussels does not want to force any country to cultivate GM plants, but
on the other hand warns that countries can not announce by themselves GMO
free regions and block cultivation of 8 types of plants which were
already legalised in EU.

The Polish government wants Poland to be a GMO free country, although the
government is not against pharmaceutical research in laboratories and
import of GM food (under condition that it will be visibly marked when
containing GM). But it is against animal feedstuff containing GMO.
"Poland is an unique biodiversity country and we should protect this
fact" said Jan Szyszko (Environmental Minister) in Brussels. The Polish
government can not set bans of GM import and cultivation. In current way
of authorisation, the decision of letting certain plant on EU market must
be undertaken by EU and not the individual governments.

Certain kind of soy is necessary protein ingredient in poultry and pigs
feeding. In Poland almost 100% of such kind of soy contains GMO. You can
also feed pigs with certain kind of rape. But chickens, turkeys and ducks
does not like rape. If the decision of Polish government were in force
(first it must be accepted by the Parliament) instead of certain kind of
GM soy, the breeders would be obliged to buy soy without GMO. But there
in not a lot of such kind of soy all over the world- only 20% of whole
production. And Poland is one of the biggest soy importers- annually we
import 1.5 mln of tons. So the prices will increase immediately. We
suppose that it can be even 30% more expensive. "It is surprising that
nobody from the government haven't calculated such decision"- says Bogdan
Judzinski president of Polish Cereal and Fodder Chamber.

The ban of GM feedstuff's import means also the increase of meat prices.
For poultry breeders who has already a lot of problems because of bird
flu, decrease of prices and demand, it would be too much. The producers
consider that they can not decrease the prices of meat, cause like that
they will loose clients in Poland and in the other countries. Professor
Andrzej Aniol, the head of GMO committee in Ministry of Environment,
believes that if Polish Parliament will support the statement of
Government will also break EU directives (which allows to free flow of GM
feeding stuff). And law of EU is overriding toward national law. Last
year when the Austrian government proclaimed Upper Austria region as a
GMO free, the government was taken to tribunal in Luxembourg. And lost.
In opinion of professor Aniol, this decision may be the next conflict with EU.

Also Bogdan Judzinski thinks that Polish government breaks one of the
basic laws of EU (about unlimited flow of products). It also breaks
Polish law, because in 2002 ten- years period allowing GMO feeding stuff
turnover was led in.

                                 PART II
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TITLE:  Czech GM maize area seen up 10 times in 2006
SOURCE: Czech News Agency / Prague Daily Monitor, Czech Republic
DATE:   15 Mar 2006

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Czech GM maize area seen up 10 times in 2006

Prague, March 15 (CTK) - Czech farmers may raise the area of genetically-
modified maize fields up to ten times this year against 2005, farming
consultant and former MP Miroslav Tyl said today. Czech farmers could
first grow GM maize in 2005. More than 50 farmers used this opportunity
on an area of 270 hectares. "The so-called Bt maize will cover an area of
2,000-3,000 hectares," said Miluse Kusendova, PR director at GM seeds
producer Monsanto. But the farm ministry said the total area was not
certain yet, because farmers are still making plans for this year. "There
will be a growth this year, but it is difficult to predict whether by 50
or 100 percent," said Ivan Branzovsky from the farm ministry. The
ministry said the Czech Republic had taken the fifth place among EU
countries in terms of GM-maize growing in 2005. Spain came first with an
area of some 50,000 hectares.

European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering

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