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Cablegate: Ambassador Meets Poland's New Ag.

VZCZCXRO3188
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHWR #2313/01 3381436
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 041436Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY WARSAW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5582
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC 2027
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
INFO RUEHKW/AMCONSUL KRAKOW 1919
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 WARSAW 002313

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

USDA FAS FOR OFSA/LEE, SCHAYES, YOUNG; OCRA/CURTIS,
SEIDBAND; OSTA/MACKE, HAMILTON, OGA/CHAUDHRY
STATE FOR EUR/NCE, INR
BRUSSELS PASS AG MINISTER COUNSELOR;
EUROPEAN POSTS PASS AGR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR ECON ETRD TBIO PGOV PL
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR MEETS POLAND'S NEW AG.
MINISTER SAWICKI. DOOR OPEN FOR BIOTECH TALKS


WARSAW 00002313 001.2 OF 002


SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED

REF: WARSAW 2230

1. (SBU) Summary. Dec. 3, Ambassador Ashe called
on new AgMinister Marek Sawicki, accompanied by
AgCounselor. As reported reftel, Sawicki is a
member of Poland's minority party, PSL, in the new
governing coalition with PO that came to office
after parliamentary elections Oct. 21. Minister
Sawicki spoke warmly about relations with the
United States and outlined his priorities for the
improvement of Polish agriculture, mentioning his
concern about farmer incomes and retirement social
security programs. The Minister commented with
moderation on biotechnology, hinting at a
recognition of Poland's EU commission problems.
Sawicki mentioned interest in attending the WIREC
Ministerial energy conference and requested more
information. End summary.

2. (U) Ashe congratulated Sawicki on his
appointment to his position. Sawicki answered that
he had been born on a farm in Sawice, a farm he now
owns. Sawicki extended his appreciation for the
visit and offered that America is a great nation.
Sawicki thanked USDA for approving sanitary
regulations to allow Polish pork exports to the
United States.

3. (SBU) Ashe said that agricultural biotechnology
benefits farms and the environment simultaneously
and is helping to advance biofuel research. He
said Poland's upcoming ban on biotechnology
varieties in animal feeds was harmful to Poland's
farm economy. Sawicki replied that Polish
regulations are very strict, but that he supports
the EU solutions to raise the zero tolerance of GMO
presence in feeds and food. He added he was
against GMO's in general, but thought it worthwhile
to cooperate with the United States to find
solutions to EU problems with the technology. In a
follow up question on biotechnology, Sawicki shared
that he takes resolving the feed ban problem
seriously, and may be interested in talking about
other Poland biotech problems later. He said work
must be done to inform the public about
biotechnology and its benefits.

4. (U) Mentioning the upcoming U.S. Ministerial
conference on biofuels, Ashe inquired whether
Sawicki might attend. Sawicki replied that
biofuels will be a major initiative of his work and
he will be working hard to influence the Ministry
of Economy on the issue to support Polish farmers.
He expressed interest in attending the WIREC
Ministerial March 4-6.

5. (U) Ashe informed Sawicki of USDA's decision to
acknowledge the contribution of Dr. Henryk
Jasiorowski, a Polish agricultural scientist, at an
upcoming ceremony at the CMR, January 17, 2008.
Sawicki replied that Jasiorowski was an excellent
choice. He will try to attend. (Comment. USDA's
award for Dr. Jasiorowski highlights Poland's
agricultural contributions to the globe and was a
post-initiated award. Jasiorowski was a pioneer
animal feed expert that helped promote studies that
favored U.S. feeds and animal breeds after WWII,
building markets in Europe for these products. Dr.
Jasiorowski has been a tireless promoter and board
member of the global NGO - The Heifer Project,
offering free animals to the poor in the developing
world. End comment.)

6. (SBU) Sawicki offered his goals for his term as
Agricultural Minister. He emphasized his devotion
to the Common Agricultural Policy and his alliance
with French Ag. Minister Barnier to forestall cuts
in the future. He wishes to see Polish farmers'
payments harmonized with Western Europe. He wants
to see more producer groups acting as collectives

WARSAW 00002313 002.2 OF 002


to process their products, and complimented the
American model of the producer group. Collectives
exist for the dairy industry, but more farm
processing is needed, he said. Sawicki shared his
concern with farm pensions. Poland's pension
program for farmers is separate from other programs
and is not as well funded as other sectors. He is
concerned about outmigration of Poland's brightest
pupils to other EU member states. He wants more
and better jobs in agriculture created in Poland.

7. (SBU) Comment. The new minister must balance
consumer opposition to biotechnology with renewed
pressure from the EU to resolve Polish legislative
problems on biotech. Sawicki is interested in
close contact with the United States and in dialog
about biotechnology. The meeting confirms Poland's
strong opposition to CAP reform. End comment.
ASHE

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