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article imagePolish farmers protest sale of farmland to foreign multinationals

By Anne Sewell     Jan 31, 2013 in World
Warsaw - Farmers in Poland continue to protest against the sell-off of prime Polish farmland to foreign multinational corporations, who can then plant GM crops in the country. The fight has now spread to five Polish provinces.
Digital Journal reported at the beginning of January that farmers in Poland were protesting the sale of farmland to multinational corporations. However, the protests are now spreading and getting larger in more Polish provinces.
While the Polish government claims to have banned planting of GM crops in Poland as of January 28, 2013, it is still allowing the "trading" of GM seeds, in compliance with an EU directive which calls for GM planting to be permitted in “special designated areas.”
Under this clause, the land that is currently being sold-off to multinational corporations could then be used to grow GM crops on prime Polish farmland.
The protesting farmers are currently in negotiation with the Polish government, but so far to no effect, and their demands have not been met. The farmers are demanding the following:
An end to “land grabbing” by a collusion between the Polish government and foreign corporations
A ban, by law, of the planting and trading of GM seeds in Poland
A freeing-up of the regulations that restrict and prohibit the local sale of “made-on-the-farm” quality produce
If the government fails to respond in full to their demands, the farmers are planning to block-off Warsaw in a massive demonstration.
Sir Julian Rose, an Oxfordshire farmer, has led British farmers to the streets in tractors last Saturday in a show of support for the protesting Polish farmers.
President of ICPPC (International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside), Sir Julian said in a statement, “The food chain is globalized and therefore it is very important to recognize that this issue affects us all. Europeans have rejected GM foods and the broad body of evidence indicates that they are not about to change their minds. Selling off farmland to corporations makes all of us slaves to organizations that are unaccountable and have as their sole goal profit and power.”
Jadwiga Lopata, Vice-President of ICPPC and Laureate of the Goldman Prize, said: “Farmers are demanding access to local markets and consumers want access to good quality local food. Therefore, it is time to revive on a large scale, cooperation between the countryside and the city and take power away from corporations and those who are supporting them.”
More about Poland, Protest, Farmers, sell off, prime farmland
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