Helena Paul


Please try to prevent the bill called the Seeds Act from passing into law. I write as someone who has worked on issues of genetic modification (GM) for many years and I understand that this law would mean that Poland would allow the planting of GM seeds, which would be a major mistake.

I would like to share with you what some US farmers are saying about GM crops:

We didn?t realise we were giving up our power?
We have lost control of farming and suffer from economic dependency?
Now we have very little choice ­ only one or two sources of seed?
If I could grow non-GM crops as I did before, I would, but now I can?t get those seeds any moreŠ?

This shows the impact of GM in the US. Of course people had little information and choice about GM when GM crops were first introduced there. Now we can see clearly what the impact has been. Farmers now have major problems with resistant pests and weeds in several states. They no longer have access to the variety of crop seeds they used to have. In most cases they are not allowed to save GM seed for the following year because it is the property of the corporation that markets it. If they do save it, they become liable for legal action. There are several examples of this from the US.

In the UK, we looked at coexistence issues and the claims made for pollen movement etc, and came to the conclusion that it was not possible for GM and non GM crops to coexist. Contamination of non GM by GM is inevitable. We have already seen that honey has been contaminated by GM. It would be a disaster if Poland were to decide to go down this path when the lessons from the US are so clear.

You should also remember that citizens all over Europe have steadily continued to reject GM since 1997, in spite of major efforts to persuade them otherwise. Nine European Countries have banned one crop: GM maize MON 810. In the US itself, the effort to label GM in California was only defeated with the use of major corporate funding.

Finally, it is also becoming clear that GM may have serious health effects. In recent weeks we have seen major efforts to claim that research showing the health impacts of GM on rodents is flawed, but the research actually reproduced and extended research carried out several years ago by a GM corporation but withheld from public scrutiny. Indeed the obvious conclusion to draw from this research is that we need far more than 90 days to assess the impacts of GM, as well as chemicals, on animal health.

However, the corporations that produce GM seeds are eager to introduce them to regions where the problems with them are less well-known. Please take a stand against the GM corporations and do not allow Poland to be such a place.

Helena Paul

Friday the 20th.
Copyright 2012


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