Polish president vetoes bill allowing GMO seeds

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 24, 2011 12:30 PM
Polish president vetoes bill allowing GMO seeds

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland's President Bronislaw Komorowski on Wednesday vetoed a new legislation that would allow some genetically modified seeds in the country, saying it ran against European Union rules.

Poland currently forbids any GMO cultivation or sales on its soil and must align its legislation with the more lenient one of the EU after Warsaw lost a court case against Brussels on it.

But Komorowski said the bill was faulty after parliament changed the government's original proposal significantly, finally approving a bill that still contradicted EU rules.

"If the parliament approves my veto, I will immediately propose a seeds bill that would not have the GMO element because we need a seeds bill," Komorowski said, adding he knew of no proof that GMO food could be dangerous for human health.

This is the second presidential veto of a law put forward by the center-right government of Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who brought Komorowski to the presidency a year ago.

Tusk's ruling Civic Platform party is now tipped to win re-election in the October9 parliamentary polls.

"Separately, we should decide on the GMO issue in the Polish parliament after the elections and put that into a 'mother-bill' for any further GMO-related laws," Komorowski added.

Poland is facing another trial in the European Court of Justice over the matter and may be forced to pay several million euros in lost aid funds if it fails to implement the European regulations on modified agricultural products.

At the same time individual farmers in Poland import modified animal feed for their animals, which formally is not illegal.

(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; editing by James Jukwey)