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

About SGS Food Safety Services

SGS is committed to keeping readers informed of regulatory news and developments. Leveraging a global network of laboratories and food experts, SGS provides a comprehensive range of food safety and quality solutions including GMO testing (http://www.sgs.com/en/Consumer-Goods-Retail/Food/Primary-...), audits, certifications, inspections and technical support. The company continually invests in world class testing capabilities and state-of-the-art technology to help clients reduce risks, and improve food safety and quality.

For further information, please contact the SGS experts.

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Website: www.foodsafety.sgs.com

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 80,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,650 offices and laboratories around the world.

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Tags:Sgs, Pollen, Honey, GMO labeling legislation, Labeling Legislation
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