Poland’s lower Chamber of Parliament, the Sejm, has approved a draft amendment to the 2006 Feed Act to postpone for another two years the Act’s provision imposing a ban on GM crops and by-products, according to the latest USDA GAIN report.
On November 22, 2018, some 383 members of the Sejm voted in favor of the postponement, two were against, and 24 abstained.
An earlier exemption of the GM feed ban was scheduled to expire on December 31, 2018.
The draft amendment continues to move through the Parliament and will proceed to the Senate. Once ratified by the Senate, it will require final approval from Poland’s president.
Full enforcement of the 2006 would effectively stop most Polish soybean meal imports from South America and the US. Since 2006, that stipulation of the regulation has been repeatedly postponed, given the fact that Poland’s thriving poultry, pork, and feed industries continue to require soy protein to remain globally competitive.
Biotechnology remains controversial topic
According to an earlier USDA report, while most Polish scientists and some commercial farmers understand the benefits of advanced agricultural technologies, biotechnology remains a contentious and politicized topic in Poland.
The authors, citing public opinion studies, noted that 70% of Poles oppose the presence of agricultural biotechnology, adding that research also indicates that Polish society’s general awareness about biotechnology remains limited.
There are no commercial GM crops produced in Poland. Several institutions conduct research projects under confined conditions, which consist of basic research and development, plant breeding – in a few cases in conjunction with foreign companies or laboratories - and experiments measuring the impact of GM crops on the environment.
Poland has also approved the ‘opt-out’ EU legislation regarding GM crop cultivation.