GMO What are GMOs? GMOs are plants or animals whose cells have been inserted with a gene from an unrelated species in order to take on specific characteristics. For example, plants might be genetically engineered to develop a resistance against insects or to increase nutrients. GMOs have been part of our food for the past 20 years. Which foods contain GMOs? More than 40 types of plants have been genetically modified worldwide. A much smaller number are commercially grown. The most common genetically modified plants are corn, canola, soybean and cotton. Others include papayas, chrysanthemums, poplars, spruce. GMOs have also been used in tobacco, rice, cranberries, raspberries and walnuts. Are genetically modified foods safe to eat? GMO critics say genetically engineering a food could affect its nutritional value or create allergens or toxins in the food, although these claims are disputed by federal regulators, including the Food and Drug Administration. Why are some people concerned about GMOs? Critics say there are potential health effects (see next question) and environmental concerns surrounding GMOs. One of the supposed benefits of GMOs is that they should result in less herbicide spraying, since some plants have been modified to be herbicide resistant. However, over-reliance on these crops has led to the emergence of "super weeds" that are also more resistant to herbicides GMO in Poland The Polish position on GMO is sceptical. According to the government’s policy, Poland intends to be a GMOfree country - it was stipulated in the government’s position on GMO in 2008. At the moment, the EU law does not provide a possibility to say a decisive ”NO to GMO”, but it allows using so-called exemptions, if human and animal health or life or natural environment is at risk - the Polish Ministry of Agriculture is currently taking advantage of this possibility. As far as maize is concerned, the ministry will introduce a regulation forbidding cultivation of genetically modified maize throughout Poland (MON 810 maize) - the draft version of March 15th has been sent to the public consultation. Poland has now officially imposed a ban on Monsanto’s MON810 GMO maize. Recent protests by beekeepers and anti-GMO activists have resulted in a successful conclusion. [...] Minister of Agriculture in the Polish Government, Marek Sawicki says that as well as being linked to range of health ailments, the pollen originating from this GM strain might actually be devastating to the already reduced bee population in the country. “The decree is in the works. It introduces a complete ban on the MON810 strain of maize in Poland,” Sawicki told the press.