The new Polish Prime Minister, who is seen as an ally of the U.S. on foreign policy issues, has pledged to the Polish Parliament in a crucial policy speech, seeking parliamentary backing, that he will keep Poland GM-free. (item 2)
All but 2 of Poland's regions had already declared themselves GM-free zones. http://icppc.pl/pl/gmo/eng_index.php
1.Eastern Europe's anti-GM food movement grows
By staff reporter
Food and Drink Europe, Nov 15 2005
Most Polish and Russian consumers do not want to eat food made from
genetically modified ingredients, says new poll, as the anti-GM movement
gathers pace in Eastern Europe.
Around 76 per cent of Polish consumers said they didn't want to eat any food containing GM, according to a PBS opinion poll commissioned by Greenpeace.
The news follows an earlier study by Russia's largest public opinion
research body, VCIOM, that 95 per cent of Russians aware of GM ingredients said they were either opposed to them or seriously concerned by them.
The surveys are an important sign that public opinion in Eastern Europe is
moving towards the widespread GM scepticism already present in Western Europe.
Research published by the European Commission earlier this year says that only 14 per cent of the European population believes GM food is safe.
Greenpeace said that more than 450 food companies across Russia had now adopted a GM-free policy, including international giants such as Nestle and Coca-Cola.
Consumer rejection of GM food has become more of a problem since January this year, when Russia introduced new laws forcing producers to state any GM ingredients used on product labels.
The government has also spent 2005 discussing new regulations for GM
ingredients. In May this year, GM soy, maize, potato, white beet and rice
were still allowed in Russia.
But, Russia's Soy Union said it now supported a moratorium on growing GM soy in Russia. "There is currently no commercial production of genetically modified soy on the territory of the Russian Federation", said union president Anatoly Ustyuzhanin to Greenpeace.
The campaign group, however, said some multinational retailers were guilty of double standards, giving GM-free guarantees on food in Western Europe but not on products in the East.
A recent report commissioned by [the biotech industry lobby group] Agricultural Biotechnology Europe (ABE) said the European Union's anti-GM stance would become unsustainable as it becomes ever harder and more expensive to ensure sourcing of non-GM ingredients.
A major problem is the declining global supply of non-GM ingredients in the key soybean and derivative sector, notably now Brazil has begun planting GM soybeans. GM soybeans accounted for 23 per cent of total production in Brazil in 2004.
"To date, consumers have rarely been given the option of a choice between GM and non-GM alternatives of the same product or faced price differentials between the two," said ABE.
2.Poland parliment approves minoirty govt
www.chinaview.cn 2005-11-11 10:09:05 [shortened]
WARSAW, Nov. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- Poland's minority government under the leadership of Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz was approved on Thursday after winning a vote of confidence in parliament.
The 460-seat lower house of parliament endorsed the newly-elected cabinet by 272 to 187 with no abstentions.
The cabinet, mainly comprising members of Marcinkiewicz's conservative Law and Justice party, also received support from three other parties, the
far-right League of Polish Families (LPR),the Samoobrona, and the Peasants' Party.
The approval came seven weeks after parliamentary elections, which gave the Law and Justice party 27 percent of the vote.
Analysts say the new cabinet, lacking a majority in the parliament, could be plagued by instability in the longer term.
Marcinkiewicz appealed to other parties in the parliament to back his
cabinet in a crucial policy speech before the vote.
"If you back this ambitious program, which is important for Poland, then ... we will mend the state, we will change our country," he said.
Marcinkiewicz promised in the speech to push forward the Polish economy with "pragmatic policies."
The new leader also said his government aimed to develop agriculture and rural areas.
He pledged Poland would remain a country free of genetically-modified crops while bio-fuel development would be given priority.
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