News 305 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Poland faces fines on national GM food law

The deadline for Poland to respond to European Commission (EC) claims that its ban on genetically modified (GM) food products violates EU law is swiftly approaching.

The Polish government must respond to the EC by December 23 concerning a complaint against the domestic law on animal feed, which prevents livestock from being fed GM crops and is restrictive in the EC's opinion. The complaint was issued last summer.

If Polish regulations remain unchanged, the EC has said it will take the matter before the European Court of Justice.

EU legislation on GM food aims at ensuring the "free movement of safe and healthy genetically modified products in the European Union." Should the court find against Poland, the resulting fine could amount to €260,000 per day, Gazeta Wyborcza daily estimated.

"There is no scientific evidence that GM food is harmful," Jadwiga Seremak-Bulge, an analyst from the Institute of Agriculture and Food Economics - National Research Institute, argued. She stressed that GM products have been long present in Poland despite the ban. "For 10 years we have been eating chicken fattened on GM feed," she said.

By maintaining the ban, Poland could face higher feed prices, and therefore higher food prices, Seremak-Bulge suggested.

Related website:
European Commission

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