A 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 for Agricultural Property Agency in the town of Szczecin using tractors to seal off neighbouring streets. The protest is necessary due to government actions to sell the land which is still in their hands but is in use by 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.
This land-sale process links into the Polish government’s recent passing of the ‘Seeds Act’. An Act which places Poland in conformation with 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 farmers protest which is seen as critical to preventing a mass sell-off of prime farmland. The two organisations 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.
Sir Julian Rose, President ICPPC Jadwiga Lopata ICPPC Founder/Vice President