The North-Eastern European country, Poland, has become the latest EU nation to ban the production of genetically modified (GM) crops, although, the European Food Safety Authority has approved GM crops as being safe for cultivation. Poland’s Ministry of Agriculture has opted to take advantage of a special ‘safeguard clause’ which allowed them to reject these GM crops, allowing Poland to protect their agricultural base from contamination.
Recently, the European Union approved two GM crops for Europe, Monsanto’s MON810 Maize, and BASF’s Amflora Potato, however, Poland’s ban will take effect on January 28th.
“To justify the enactment of these regulations, the Ministry of Agriculture pointed out to the impossibility of the coexistence of GM crops and the natural varieties, without the risk of contamination of the latter. The Ministry also draws attention to the threat of contamination of honey by pollen of maize MON 810 and the lack of research supporting the safety of GM crops on the environment and human health. From now on, a farmer who illegally sows MON 810 maize or Amflora potato may be levied with severe financial penalties and even with the destruction of his crop.” (GMWatch)
This is good news for opponents of genetically modified foods as their consumption has been linked to cancers and other health problems in labratory animals and in humans. Last year, Russia temporarily banned the production of several GM crops, but in the last week “Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare conducted its own safety assessment of NK603 and concluded that there were no adverse effects on humans.” (AGProfessional)
This is a small and perhaps temporary victory in the fight against franken-foods, but activists must remain steadfast and dedicated to stop the tidal wave of genetically modified crops, which rely much more heavily on boutique pesticides and herbicides than traditionally cultivated crops. And organizations working toward this goal, like GreenPeace, are quick to point out that we must remain vigilant so that the EU is not able to overturn this ban, and also that proper oversight is implemented to ensure that GM crops will be controlled effectively and that the ban is actually observed by local farmers.
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