What's at stake in Poland? This is what is at stake:

Poland is the last oasis of traditional organic farming in Europe. Tens of millions of acres of enormously productive farmland are tilled without chemicals. Poland contains the last large, free flowing, unpolluted rivers in Europe, the Bug and the Narew. It has magnificent mountains, wetlands and forests, more parkland and protected area than the four largest EU nations combined and by far the most abundant wildlife remaining in Europe. Poland is the only potential EU member with large areas of unspoiled land.

This is the prize that has drawn the agribusiness giants, backed by international bankers, to Polish soil. The first efforts of Big Ag to seize control have been largely thwarted. Earlier this spring, after having washed through the Sejm on a tide of foreign lobbying money, an effort to destroy the Polish Animal Welfare Act was smashed in the Senat by the intervention of the great Polish film director, Andrzej Wajda and other directors and performers. I called it the second "Miracle of the Vistula."

The biggest, the only really durable, obstacle to US style agribusiness in Poland is the stubborn resistance of Poland's peasantry. If their resistance is broken, big money will prevail. The stakes are huge. The struggle is only beginning.

-Tom Garrett