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New GM honey rules in force

Amendments to honey legislation to reduce the regulatory impact if it contains pollen from genetically modified crops have been published in the EU Official Journal. The text states that pollen is a natural constituent of honey and is not to be considered an ingredient within the meaning of EU food rules. The distinction means that it escapes the effect of an EU court ruling in 2011 that would have required authorisation before any honey containing GM pollen could be sold (Agrow No 688, p 8). Instead, the amended text notes that honey is subject to existing GMO labelling legislation, which requires labels only if any GM pollen makes up more than 0.9% of the honey. The new rules have to be implemented in EU member states by June 24th 2015. Existing honey products on the market or labelled prior to this date may continue to be sold until the exhaustion of stocks.

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