We have already talked about the standards that characterize organic honey, it all seemed very simple until, in a German court, a case was raised: in honey of a manufacturer was found to be pollen of corn Mon 810 genetically modified. The German beekeeper was certainly not ready to find GMO pollen in his Miele and so the German court asked the European Court for a preliminary ruling.
Genetically Modified Honey, the title of the article is a bit inappropriate but it serves to convey the idea. If you perform chemical analyzes on honey imported from China, researchers are often unable to identify the origin of the pollen present, the Chinese industry removes all traces. The EU produces about 13% of world honey with 200 thousand tons. Italy, when it comes to honey production it is second only to Spain. Despite the high production, EU honey imports amount to about 140 thousand tons, equal to 40% of its total consumption.
The question raised in court is: the pollen is it an ingredient or a component? On September 6, 2011, the Court ruled that the pollen in honey was to be considered as an ingredient. This indication was to be interpreted in the field of application of the GMO law. After this ruling, the European Commission adopted a proposal to amend the rules on honey aimed at clarifying that the pollen it is not an ingredient but a natural component.
Subsequently, the Court of Justice based its interpretation on Honey Directive, dating back to 2011 and qualified the pollen as an ingredient of honey; the reason? The pollen is found in the honey thanks above all to the intervention of'beekeeper. While the court of justice defines it as an ingredient, on the other, the European Commission proposes it as a natural component because it reaches the hive thanks to the activity of bees and can be found independently of the intervention of thebeekeeper.
If the pollen it is considered a component, the EU labeling rules that require the list of ingredients should not be applied. So how will it end with the honey consisting of pollen which derives from genetically modified organisms?
The honey containing GMO pollen it can be placed on the market only if there is a regulation that authorizes it and the rules of labeling on GMOs. The question becomes even more difficult when we buy a finished product such as sweets or biscuits that include honey among the ingredients. For the consumer, navigating the shelf products is an increasingly difficult task.