European Parliament Clarifies Definition and Labeling Rules for Genetically Modified Pollen in Honey

Directive 2014/63/EU of the European Parliament was published in the Official Journal and defines pollen as a natural constituent of honey, rather than an ingredient.
 
 
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HAMBURG, Germany - July 7, 2014 - PRLog -- On 3 June 2014, Directive 2014/63/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Directive 2001/110/EC relating to honey was published in the Official Journal. The directive defines pollen as a natural constituent of honey, rather than an ingredient. This means that Genetically Modified (GM) pollen has only to be labeled if it makes up more than 0.9% of the honey.

Labeling of Genetically Modified Pollen in Honey

Current legislation did not state explicitly whether pollen in honey is a constituent or an ingredient. As we reported in a former Safeguard (http://newsletter.sgs.com/eNewsletterPro/uploadedimages/000006/sgs-safeguards-21611-gmo-in-honey-a4-en-en-11.pdf) the European Court of Justice sought to clarify this in a ruling in September 2011 which defined pollen as an "ingredient" of honey, thereby requiring producers to indicate “pollen” in a list of ingredients on the label of the product. As a result of this definition:

- GM pollen has to be labeled if it makes up more than 0.9% of pollen.

- Honey is not marketable in European Union Member States if it contains pollen from GM plants which are not authorized to be used as ingredients in honey.

Pollen: a Constituent of Honey

With pollen defined as a constituent of honey, current EU legislation on labeling applies, which states that GMOs must be indicated if they are present as a quantity of more than 0.9% of the honey (and not of the pollen). However, since pollen only forms around 0.5 % of any batch of honey, it will not exceed the labeling threshold.

References:

- Directive 2014/63/EU (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=OJ...)
- pkyp Council Directive 2001/110/EC (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CE...)

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