Chennai, November 10, 2011: According to a Press Release dated September 6, 2011 by the Friends of the Earth Europe (FOE) and media reports in the UK (see for example, the news dated September 13, 2011 in the GMO Safety site and the news dated November 7, 2011 in the Daily Mail, UK, Online and in the Telegraph, UK; see also the Press Release dated September 6, 2011 by Greenpeace, EU Unit), The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has decreed that pollen is an ingredient of honey rather than an intrinsic component. It means, according to the media reports, that honey 'contaminated' by pollen from genetically modified (GM) crops will have to be labelled so, and will need specific EU food safety approval before marketing.
The ruling is a result of a suit filed by German beekeepers against the Bavarian government after their honey was contaminated by Monsanto's GM maize 'MON810' pollen, and a Bavarian beekeeper was forbidden to sell this honey in 2005.
Mute Schimpf, food campaigner for FOE Europe said, according to the Press Release: "Consumers, farmers and beekeepers deserve the full protection of the law against unwanted contamination from genetically modified crops." However, beekeepers and honey traders are apprehensive of the adverse impact the ruling will make on marketing their produce. Beekeepers in the UK need not fear about GM pollen contamination because GM crops are not allowed for cultivation in that country. but, honey trade there and in the European Union in general will be affected because the honey imported into these countries will have to be tested for GM labelling which adds to the cost of honey.
According to the Daily Mail news the European Commission is expected to finalise the regulation over the next year.