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Cablegate: Poland: Demarche Response: Eu Progress On Biotech

VZCZCXRO5727
PP RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHWR #2233/01 3181037
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 141037Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY WARSAW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5490
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 WARSAW 002233

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE PASS TO USTR
USTR FOR MELISSA CLARKSON AND WENDY MOORE
STATE FOR EUR/ERA SHAWN GRAY AND EEB/TPP/ABT/BTT JACK BOBO
USDA/FAS FOR ELIZABETH JONES

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR ETRD EUN PL
SUBJECT: POLAND: DEMARCHE RESPONSE: EU PROGRESS ON BIOTECH

REF: STATE 153542

1. (SBU) Summary: Post has delivered reftel demarche to the
Polish Ministries of Economy, Environment and Agriculture.
Poland is in the process of forming a new government, and
consequently its capacity to engage on the issue before
November 21 is limited. Although it appears unlikely that
Poland will quickly change its policy of opposing
biotechnology, post will continue to stress the importance of
this issue with the new goverment's officials. End summary.

-------------------
Ministry of Economy
-------------------

2. (SBU) On November 7, EconOff delivered reftel demarche
to Kryzstof Januszek, Acting Director of the Trade Policy
Department at the Polish Ministry of Economy. Januszek
stated that, having spent several years working in Geneva, he
fully understood the import of the U.S. message, and was
aware of what could happen if the EU fails to comply with the
WTO Panel's finding. However, he noted that, on this issue,
the Ministry of Economy is only one player in the Polish
interagency debate. While the Ministry of Economy has been a
proponent of a more trade-liberalizing approach to biotech,
strong anti-biotech lobbies in the Ministries of Environment
and Agriculture have been quite successful in advancing their
views within the Polish government. He stated that the
Polish position is closer to that of France or Italy. While
the newly-elected Polish government may show more concern
regarding the effects of failing to comply with international
obligations as determined by the WTO Dispute Settlement Body,
Januszek was doubtful that we could expect a significant
change in Polish policy on the biotech issue.

-----------------------
Ministry of Environment
-----------------------

3. (SBU) On November 8, AgCouns and EconOff delivered
reftel demarche to Slawomir Gurtowski, Deputy Director of the
Ministry of the Environment's Department of Global
Environmental Problems and Climate Change, who is responsible
for WTO issues. Gurtowski said he was aware of the current
biotech dispute and the consequences for Poland of failing to
complain with the WTO Panel's finding. He was reluctant to
discuss the issue further. He said that, in light of the
opposition party's victory in last week's elections, the
departing minister of the environment will not make a
decision that could tie the hands of his replacement, who has
yet to be named. Gurtowski did note that most of his
information about genetically modified foods comes from
anti-biotech NGOs. Consequently, he described his office's
opposition to GMO's as based on the preventive principle and
a belief that GMOs harm small farmers. When AgCouns offered
examples of farmers in less developed countries who had
successfully used GMOs Gurtowski said he realized there was
another side to the GMO controversy, but was not familiar
with the details. AgCouns and EconOff offered to provide
Gurtowski with additional scientific information. AgCouns
and EconOff also arranged to meet with representatives of the
ministry again when the new government begins to coalesce.

-----------------------
Ministry of Agriculture
-----------------------

4. (SBU) On November 12, AgCouns delivered reftel demarche
to Jan Ardanowski, Under Secretary of Agriculture.
Ardanowski repeated that Poland does not support the use of
biotechnology in EU member states. He said a new government
may be more receptive to the technology and to working with
the Commission. He stated that the new Polish government
would have to decide what Poland's position was on the
November 21 implementation deadline for the WTO decision, and
that the U.S. side should not expect Poland to be very
engaged on the topic given the government changeover. He
added that the new coalition government would make biofuels a
priority, and this might create an opening for greater use of
the technology in Poland, with products channeled into the
energy sector. As well, he commented that a new leadership
ofthe Ministry, expected to be from the Polish People's Party
(PSL), must cope with the 70 percent public disapproval of
biotechnology shown by polls. Ardanowski, a member of the
former ruling party, PiS (Law and Justice), will be leaving

WARSAW 00002233 002 OF 002


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