Honey Labelling ‘Contains Pollen’

The UK’s Food Standards Agency has written to leading industry figures to tell them what they need to do following the ruling in a German court (see story in Daily Mail 7th November).

Sandy Lawrie, head of the novel foods unit at the UK’s Food Standards Agency, wrote: ‘The Commission held meetings at the end of September with representatives from honey exporting countries and with EU stakeholders.

‘They confirmed that the implications of the ECJ ruling are clear in that: pollen is regarded as both a component of honey and an ingredient, as defined in food labelling legislation.

‘Honey should therefore be labelled with a list of ingredients.

‘If some or all of the pollen is from a GM source, it should be labelled accordingly unless it is exempt under the 0.9 per cent threshold.

‘This proportion is calculated in relation to the total pollen content of the product.

It is reported that the legislation may take a year to prepare.  It is unfortunate that the ruling arose because an amateur beekeeper took the State of Bavaria to court because he was unable to sell his honey because his bees foraged on experimental planting of GMO maize.

One wonders how the rest of the ingredients in honey will be described – ‘Sugars’?