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15.01.2014

Honey and GMOs

Sting for European beekeepers as MEPs oppose labelling of GM pollen in honey

The European Parliament today voted on proposals to revise EU rules on honey. A majority of MEPs voted in favour of proposals meaning that the presence of GM pollen in honey would not need to be indicated on the label. The Greens criticised the vote, with food and environment spokesperson Bart Staes stating:

"This vote is a sting for European beekeepers. The ECJ ruled in 2011 that honey contaminated with genetically modified pollen would have to be labelled as such under EU legislation. In response, the Commission presented a revision of EU legislation on honey, proposing that the presence of GM pollen in honey would not need to be indicated on the label, turning the ruling on its head. We regret the failure of a majority of MEPs to overturn this proposal.

"With EU countries importing honey from GM producing countries and two of the main EU honey-producing member states (Spain and Romania) having authorised the production of this GM maize, honey contaminated with GM pollen will increasingly be available on our shop shelves. Honey containing GM pollen should be labelled as such, both to provide certainty for consumers and beekeepers. Regrettably, a majority of MEPs was swayed by an intense lobbying campaign, led by honey importers. The vote is a slap in the face for European consumers and beekeepers, who have again and again spoken out in favour of transparent labelling rules."