Polands ban on GMO-seeds is illegal
Warsaw - Poland has violated its obligation towards the EU in regard to GMOs, the European Court of Justice has declared in Luxembourg. Poland, which is fighting to become a GMO free country, had been in dispute with the European Commission over GMOs for years and finally passed a law banning GMO seeds on April 27, 2006. The regulation prohibited trade of GMO seeds and made it impossible to register GMO crops which in consequence blocked GMO cultivation.
In its reasoning of case C-165/08 the court stated, that "by prohibiting the free circulation of genetically modified seed varieties and the inclusion of genetically modified varieties in the national catalogue of varieties, the Republic of Poland has failed to fulfil its obligations under Directive 2001/18/EC of the European Parliament".
Under EU regulations, EU member states do not have the power to ban, limit or hinder GMO trade if it is allowed on the European level. The Polish government adopted a policy on GMO food in November 2008. It allows cultivating GMOs only in laboratories and bans GMO trade; it also opposes cultivation of genetically modified foods.
If the ruling has any actual consequences in European policy remains to be seen. Several EU-countries including Germany, France, Greece, Austria, Hungary and Luxembourg effectively banned the cultivation of the GMO-maize MON810 for the time being. But in March the EU-environmental minsiters had declared at a meeting that national bans are feasible