The Polish Upper House joins forces with liberal eco-warriors in opposition to GM crops.
The ruling, conservative, Law and Justice party has been open about its opposition to ‘Frankenstein foods’. In an unlikely alliance with liberal environmentalists they vow to clean Polish soil of the latest threat to civilization, as we know it.
Radio Polonia reports:
Maciej Muskat, Greenpeace campaigner against GMOs, congratulates the Polish government for living up to their promises. According to Muskat, there are a number of reasons not to introduce GMO: s in Poland.
”Introduction of GMOs into the Polish agricultural market would be a real catastrophe…because of the Polish structure of rural farms, with are very small and vulnerable to contamination by foreign genetic material. So, if genetically engineered plants are introduced in Poland, then very shortly Polish production, and harvest will be perceived as being contaminated. This would of course have powerful effects on the agriculture and the people living out of it,” he said.
Note the emphasis on trade in that statement from Greepeace and not ‘nature’. This is because, maybe, Greenpeace is aware that Poles, on the whole, do not make a fetish about Green issues as they do in Western Europe.
In fact, if you are pro-GM crops – as this blog is – then you get treated as some kind of ‘nature molester’ – which is almost as bad as being a child molester. It’s the same if you question some of the assumptions behind the Global Warming panic – a climate change denier being almost as bad, to some very alienated people, as a Holocaust denier.
Though you don’t often hear about them there are real benefits that can be got from GM. In a report in the magazine Biotechnologica, Graham Brooks writes:
'Polish arable farmers have the potential to gain more from early adoption of GM technology than their EU 15 counterparts because they are starting from a lower average level of technical efficiency and therefore they will derive greater productivity gains. The GM technology offers scope for accelerating the process of ‘productivity catch up’ post EU accession, enabling Polish producers to compete more effectively, and earlier than they might otherwise have been capable of, if they did not use GM technology.'
GM crops can also be of very great benefit to farmers in developing countries. They give a far higher yield, and can be used without pesticides (and so are environmentally friendly!). Unfortunately, Third World farmers fear that they will not be able to sell this produce to Western Europe because people are so fearful of GM that they will not buy them.
But let’s be rational about GM. Maybe, as one study has found, GM has a small effect on the diversity of wildlife where it is grown.
But so what: if GM has real benefits for human beings then the loss, maybe, of a couple of types of butterfly is well worth it.
But putting human first is very unfashionable these days. Are we becoming so self-hating that butterflies and 'nature' come before fellow humans?