POLAND – A group of Polish lawmakers has proposed to gradually phase out genetically modified organisms (GMOs) from feed manufacturing to bolster its protein sovereignty and tackle the volatility in feed prices. 

This initiative comes against the backdrop of a significant decline in feed prices, which has spurred substantial investments in Poland’s poultry industry and other European Union states.

Under the proposed scheme, feed manufacturers would be mandated to transition away from GMOs, to reduce Poland’s reliance on imported GM corn and soybeans by an estimated 45%. 

The plan outlines a timeline wherein feed formulations must contain at least 15% non-GM components by 2025, with this threshold progressively increasing to 44.9% by 2032.

Lawmakers supporting the proposal argue that it aligns with the government’s efforts to establish protein sovereignty and ensure security in the event of a global protein crisis affecting the feed market. 

Poland aims to enhance its self-sufficiency in protein production By reducing dependence on imported GM crops.

Poland currently imports approximately 1.4 million tonnes of protein annually, primarily in the form of soybean meal, which is a key ingredient in poultry feed production. The proposed GMO restrictions seek to reduce this dependency and promote domestic protein sources.

The resurgence of the poultry industry in Poland has been attributed to the recent downturn in feed prices. Analysts from Credit Agricole Bank noted that the industry has experienced a period of exceptional profitability, prompting producers to expand their chicken production capacity. This revival comes after years of turbulence within the sector.

Despite the potential benefits, the proposed GMO restrictions are likely to face resistance. Similar attempts in the past have encountered challenges, with the agriculture sector expressing concerns about increased costs and potential disruptions in feed availability. 

In 2022, a previous attempt to implement GMO restrictions was met with criticism and ultimately abandoned due to opposition from agricultural unions.

While the new proposal aims to address the nation’s protein security concerns, its success hinges on navigating the complexities of the agricultural industry and garnering support from stakeholders. 

As Poland continues to navigate the dynamics of the global feed market, the debate over GMO restrictions underscores the broader conversation surrounding food security and sustainability in the region as bodies like Greenpeace continue advocating for the ban of GMOs in food and feed.

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