|Honey bees on a honeycomb in Germany. A European court has ruled that honey which contains traces of pollen from genetically modified crops needs special authorisation before it can be sold. Photograph: Heribert Proepper/AP|
The European Union's highest court on Tuesday ruled that honey which contains trace amounts of pollen from genetically modified (GM) corn must be labelled as GM produce and undergo full safety authorisation before it can be sold as food.
In what green groups are calling a "groundbreaking" ruling, the decision could force the EU to strengthen its already near-zero tolerance policy on genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Bavarian beekeepers, some 500m from a test field for a modified maize crop developed by Monsanto - one of only two GM crops authorised as safe to be cultivated in Europe - claimed their honey had been "contaminated" by pollen from the plant.
εξαιρετικά νέα! καιρός να τελειώνουμε σιγά σιγά με τα πειράματα για GM τρόφιμα ...στην Ευρώπη...
and the wider implications...
Argentina and China, both GM-friendly countries and the two biggest importers of honey into the EU, are likely to be affected in particular, the commission warned.
"The honey is not dangerous. There is no health risk from honey in the EU," insisted EU consumer protection spokesman, Frédéric Vincent, worried that shoppers might stop buying honey as a result of the news.
"It's an important ruling from the court. I can't say at this point whether we need to change any laws," he added. "The contamination is done by the bees themselves. We can't put GPS tracking on the bees."
bees without GPS are on our side!