Poland: National GM crop situation, maize MON810 and potato EH92-527-1 bans

Poland: National bans of GMO crops

Poland prohibits the cultivation of maize MON 810 and Genetically Modified potato EH92-527-1 under national decrees. No detailed reasons and offical documents of the bans were sent to the EU and EFSA. Poland has never fulfilled the legal conditions to impose these bans, but the bans remain in place unchallenged. Previous polish attemps to ban GM crops were declared illegitimate by the European Court of Justice

Genetically modified maize line MON810

Use: Cultivation
Legal ground for ban quoted: National ruling

  • Ban: On 2 January 2013 Poland adopted a decree blocking the use of genetically modified maize MON810. There is no formal submission to the EU of the measure adopted at national level.
  • EFSA: No scientific opinion of EFSA was released since Poland has never submitted any scientific documentation to the European Union

Genetically Modified potato EH92-527-1

Use: Cultivation
Legal ground for ban quoted: National ruling

  • Ban: On 2 January 2013 Poland adopted decree blocking the use of genetically modified  potato EH92-527-1. There is no formal submission to the EU of the measure adopted at national level.
  • EFSA: No scientific opinion of EFSA was released since Poland has never submitted any scientific documentation to the European Union Status

Reactions European Commission, European Court of Justice, national courts

  • Failure to fulfill legal requirements: The ban has been in place since January 2013 although Poland has never started the any formal procedure foreseen by the European Law and provided detailed grounds for considering that neither genetically modified maize MON 810 nor genetically modified potato EH92-527-1 constitute a risk to human health or environment
  • No action of the EC: The European Commission did not take any action against the Polish bans.
  • First Polish safeguard clause: Under Article 16 of Directive 2002/53/EC Poland had already prohibited the cultivation of 16 out of 31 maize varieties containing the event MON 810.  This ban was later integrated by the Law on Seeds of 26 June 2003 (Dz. U No 137, heading 1299), as amended by the Law of 27 April 2006 (Dz. U No 92, heading 639) which prohibited the free circulation of all genetically modified seed varieties and the inclusion of genetically modified varieties in the national catalogue of varieties.
  • EC action and ECJ ruling on the first Polish safeguard clause: In April 2008 the European Commission brought Poland in front of the Court of Justice for infringement of EU directives on GM crops. On 16 July 2009, the Court of Justice ruled that the Polish Law on Seeds  infringed the directives 2001/18/EC and 2002/53/EC
    Case C-165/08 Commission of the European Communities vs Republic of Poland