Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Genetically Modified Honey

     In North America genetically modified foods are not labelled or effectively regulated.  The powerful lobbies of Monsanto (Monsanto the Evil Empire), Bayer and other corporations producing genetically modified seeds have successfully silenced Canadian and American politicians.  In Europe it is a much different story.  Not only are genetically modified seeds and foods strictly regulated and labelled but in virtually every European country people are aware and concerned about GMO food.

     Recently the European Court of Justice ruled that honey containing any pollen from genetically modified plants must receive prior authorization before it can be sold as food:

GM honey must get EU thumbs up
19 September 2011 | By David Boderke
HONEY containing even small traces of pollen from GM plants must now receive prior EU authorisation before it can be sold as food, the European Court of Justice has ruled.
The ruling, which says such pollen should be classed as a food ingredient, resulted from a case brought by German beekeepers from Bavaria who, in 2005, found their honey contained traces of pollen from insect-resistant GM maize plants developed by Monsanto, which were being grown for research purposes near their hives.
They said the presence of that pollen made their honey unsuitable for sale and consumption.
While Bavaria’s Environment Minister Markus Soder, a number of environmental associations and the German Beekeeping Association are now calling for safety distances of 3-10km between beehives and fields with GM crops, some beekeepers and the German honey association, Honig-Verband, are worried the ruling could spell the end for some beekeepers.
It has been suggested the ruling could pave the way for compensation claims by beekeepers against biotech companies, while EU authorities claim it could hit European imports of honey from countries where GM crops are widely grown.
The GMO Safety organisation from Germany says the fact pollen is now classified as a food ingredient could have ‘far-reaching’ consequences for beekeepers and the food industry, In future, pollen must be included in the list of ingredients, meaning every batch of honey will have to be analysed for the presence of pollen.
“In any event,” it adds, “beekeepers are going to find themselves facing as yet unforseeable financial burdens and liability consequences.”
The British Bee Keepers Association (BBKA) said in a statement it had been in contact with Defra and the Food Standards Agency, who had said they would be ‘considering the potential implications’ with the European Commission and other member states.
The BBKA added it would be monitoring developments and assessing the possible effects both for its members and the public.

     With a honey bee foraging range of 6 kilometers (4 miles) or more (Beesource) it may be very difficult in the future to get honey that does not contain pollen from genetically modified plants.  

Genetically modified strawberry


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