Polish Farmers Protest Sale of Land for GM Crops
by Guest Blogger, Sir Julian Rose
The Polish farmers’ protest against a government sell-off of farmland to multinational corporations is now in its 5th week in Zachodniopomorskie region of Poland and is spreading to other Provinces.
Farmers have blocked the entrance to the Office of an Agricultural Property Agency in the town of Szczecin using tractors to seal off neighboring streets.
The Polish farmers protest is taking place due to government actions to sell the land which is still in their hands but is in use by Polish farmers. The farmers wish to purchase the land for the continuation of their farming enterprises rather than see it sold off to outside interests at highly inflated prices which they are unable to pay.
EU Sanctioned GMO Zones Threaten Polish Farmers
This land-sale process links into the Polish government’s recently established “Seeds Act”. This Act conforms Poland to European Union (EU) regulations concerning the ‘free trade’ of GM seeds within the Country. This EU edict also requires that the Country establishes special “GMO Designated Zones” for the commercial planting of GM seeds.
On the 28th December 2012, the Polish government declared that passing the “Seeds Act” would make it possible to now ‘ban’ GM seed planting in Poland. However, it did not state that the Act, while prohibiting planting of GM seeds, allows the ‘trading’ of these same seeds.
The land which the government is opening for multinational corporations to purchase can be used by these corporations for the commercial planting and production of GM products in the heart of the Polish countryside. This would satisfy the conditions outlined by the EU for the planting of GM crops in ‘special designated’ areas.
International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside-ICPPC and the Coalition for a GMO Free Poland are supporting the Polish farmers protest which is seen as critical to preventing a mass sell-off of prime farmland. The two organizations are also making it clear that the supposed government ‘ban’ of GM seeds in Poland is a fabrication and a sop to satisfy high public concerns about the health risks attached to GM foods.
What You Can Do To Help
Please circulate this article among GMO concerned groups and activists.
The most important thing we can do now is give these farmers moral support from all over the world.
Write letters of solidarity and support to the brave Polish farmers to encourage them in their civil disobedience campaign. Send your letter care of:
Sir Julian Rose, President ICPPC
Jadwiga Lopata ICPPC Founder/Vice President
ICPPC – International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside,
34-146 Stryszów 156, Poland tel./fax +48 33 8797114 [email protected]
www.icppc.pl www.gmo.icppc.pl www.eko-cel.pl
Sir Julian Rose is a British aristocrat who has turned his family estate into a model of sustainable farming. He is now co-director of the International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside, co-launching a highly successful Campaign for a GMO Free Poland, as well as, leading a high profile defense of native farmers, whom he holds-up as the true guardians of biodiversity and quality of food throughout the world. Julian contributed to BBC Radio Four’s Farming Today during 2007 with his monthly broadcast, ‘Letters from Poland,’ passionately highlighting the crisis from forcing corporate globalization into traditional farming communities.