Poland sticking to planned GMO livestock fodder ban: ministr

Source:AFP.com Author:Unknown Date:03/25/14 Click:

WARSAW (AFP) - Poland is sticking to plans to ban the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in livestock fodder, despite an earlier rethink, the agriculture ministry announced Tuesday.

Ministry spokeswoman Malgorzata Ksiazyk told AFP that the government had decided to put on ice a move to amend a restrictive law that is due to come into force on August 1.

In January, Poland's newly-installed liberal government had said it planned to change the incoming law in order to stay in line with European Union rules.

Poland's previous conservative-nationalist administration, which clashed regularly with Brussels on a host of issues, had in 2006 announced that it would ban GMOs in fodder from this year.

Despite the expectations that Warsaw would change tack in the wake of the conservatives' defeat in a snap election last October, the new government "shares the viewpoint on GMOs" of its predecessor, Agriculture Minister Marek Sawicki told reporters after a cabinet meeting Tuesday.

Under the rules of the 27-nation EU, a member state has the right to apply a "safeguard clause" against GMO products if it can provide scientific evidence to question their safety.

But last year the EU's executive body, the European Commission, found fault with Poland's proposed law, saying Warsaw had failed to come up with the required proof of risks to the environment or people.

Poland is planning to turn to the European Court of Justice to overturn the Commission's ruling, the government said Tuesday.

A survey published by the environmental campaign organisation Greenpeace has found that 76 percent of Polish consumers oppose GMOs.

Despite the planned fodder rules, Poland is to continue allowing the import of genetically modified food for human consumption, provided it is clearly labelled as containing GMOs and cannot be transformed into other products.

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