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The Consumer Voice in Europe
European Parliament Members of the ENVI Committee
Rue Wiertz 60
B -1047 Brussels
Brussels, 17 March 2014
RE: GM honey should be labelled
Dear Member of the ENVI Committee,
I’m writing on behalf of the European Consumer Organization (BEUC) in relation to the vote on the honey Directive1 that will take place on 19 March. Consumers have the right to know what they eat. BEUC strongly supports the labelling of GM food to enable consumers to make informed choices about the use of GM technology. Honey is considered as a natural and healthy product and Directive 2001/110/EC precisely aims at preserving its natural character by limiting human intervention that could alter its composition. By changing the definition of pollen and by providing that it should not be considered as “ingredient” of honey within the meaning of Regulation (EU) 1169/2011 on the provision of information to consumers, the compromise proposal would entail that honey would never have to be labelled as containing GMOs even when it is the case. Also the European Court of Justice (ECJ)2 indicated that honey and food supplements containing pollen derived from a GMO hould be considered as foods containing ingredients produced from GMOs and be subject to the labelling requirements of Regulation (EU) 1829/2003 on genetically modified food. In line with the spirit of the Directive, with the ECJ Ruling and with the consumer right to be informed about GM food, we call on you to ensure that honey containing GM-pollen is properly labelled - as it is for other GM-containing foods - and to reject the compromise proposal.
We thank you for taking these views into account during the vote and we remain at your disposal should you wish to discuss this further.
Ilaria Passarani Head of the Health and Food Department
Directive Amending the Honey Directive 2001/110/EC