Nearly ten years ago, the Polish government introduced a legal ban on GM animal feeds, although the ban has never been implemented due to the high dependency of Polish livestock production upon soybean meal imports (two million metric tons [MMT] imported annually). The present moratorium on putting the ban into operation ends on December 31 of this year. The Polish feed and livestock and food industries undertook a number of initiatives to ensure the ban will be abolished or at least suspended for a few more years. One of the projects in their pro-biotech campaign was the publication of a special biotech insert in Gazeta Wyborcza, a top Polish daily newspaper. USSEC joined its Polish industry customers as a provider of professional information and a co-funder of the publication.
The insert was devoted to the theme “Agriculture: Safe, Efficient & Responsible” and consisted of several articles and interviews with governmental officials, scientists, industry organizations executives, and independent experts. “Animal Feeds with GM Soy” was the special feature of the insert’s edition.
The article titled “Green Biotechnology” was written by Jerzy Kosieradzki, USSEC Technical Director - Northeast Europe, and Iwona Kosieradzka, professor of animal nutrition at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences, and explained how ideology and multi-billion dollar interests of organic food corporations purposefully confuse consumers about biotech products. It highlighted the many benefits biotech crops offer to farmers, processors, and consumers around the world. The authors also reported on countless research institutions and scientific experts that had proven the safety of GM foods and feeds.
The message concluded that biotech soybeans continue to strongly contribute to the sustainability of the Polish and European food chains.
In a long interview, Professor Józef Brzóska, animal nutritionist at the Animal Production Institute in Krakow, Poland, referred to the results of a complex Polish research program funded by the Polish government that tested major corn and soybean GM varieties marketed around the world in fields and livestock production. The team of Polish scientists came to a clear conclusion that these GM crops were as safe for the environment and livestock and humans as conventional crops.
In another interview, Ewa Lech, Deputy Farm Minister spoke on the motives that caused the Polish agricultural authorities to propose to the government and parliament to extend the use of GM soy in livestock feeds for another four years.