EU In Sticky Position On GM Honey

05 October 2011

EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy John Dalli announced today that GM contaminated honey may be authorised for human consumption across the EU in response to a court judgement on GM contaminated honey in Germany.

SNP Euro MP Alyn Smith said that people will be worried but that the Commission was in a sticky position.

Speaking from Brussels, Alyn said:

"Bees don't differentiate between genetically modified plants and non-GM crops and this German honey was contaminated through no fault of the beekeepers. It would seem that European beekeepers are stuck waiting for the Commission to rule and the Commission is waiting for the food safety inspectors to advise them. In the meantime the honey can't be sold, the beekeepers aren't being compensated and the whole situation is a mess.

"I appreciate that the Commission is in a sticky position here: leave the court ruling to stand and destroy an entire industry; or offer an retrospective authorisation and send a message that you can ignore the rules and the normal authorisation processes. What is clear is that the case destroys the coexistence theory and we need the Commission to be undertaking research into whether the GM genie is now out of the bottle and what can be done to contain it. The EFSA opinion on this is due on 24th October and I hope it will give us some much-needed clarity.

"Our farmers and our consumers will, quite rightly, be worried about this. The Commission must be clear on GM - coexistence is not possible so GM cultivation is not possible."