Genetic engineering proven in honey

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Food inspectors discover genetically modified rapeseed pollen in honey

In order to control possible contamination of honey by pollen from genetically modified plants, the Baden-Württemberg Food Survey has analyzed the composition of 39 imported honey types as part of the so-called honey monitoring. The result of the honey monitoring: three types of honey contained pollen from genetically modified rape. According to the State Minister for Consumer Protection, Alexander Bonde, the investigation carried out as part of the special investigation program into genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in honey does not shed any good light on the control and take-back concept of the companies. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in September that honey should not contain pollen from unauthorized genetically modified organisms.

The potential spread of pollen from genetically modified plants is an essential argument for opponents of genetic engineering, which speaks against sowing the plants. In their opinion, the safety precautions are not sufficient to avoid crossing with other plants. Since the genetically modified rapeseed is also not approved as a food, its pollen must not appear in the honey. The state of Baden-Württemberg had already analyzed several official samples of different types of honey in the run-up to the CJEU judgment of September 6, and found genetically modified rape pollen in nine out of ten samples from Canada. Before the CJEU ruling, however, food surveillance lacked the legal means to remove the contaminated honey from circulation.

The fact that honey was still found after the ECJ ruling of September 6, "which is contaminated with genetically modified pollen is unacceptable," emphasized Baden-Württemberg's Minister of Consumer Protection, Alexander Bonde. In order to monitor the implementation of the legal requirements of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), the state of Baden-Württemberg had launched a special investigation program, in the framework of which the central laboratory of Baden-Württemberg's food surveillance - the Chemical and Veterinary Investigation Office (CVUA) Freiburg - honey on components has investigated genetically modified organisms. The inspectors discovered the genetically modified rape varieties GT 73, MS 8 and RF 3 in imported honeys. These rape varieties are not approved as food in the European Union, so the honey should not actually be sold.

Genetically engineered honey is being withdrawn from the market According to its own information, the food surveillance has initiated all measures necessary to remove the affected honey types from the market. The Ministry of Consumer Protection also informed the other federal states, the federal authorities and the European Union about the results of the honey monitoring. The two companies based in other federal states, which had filled the honey for the German market, were also informed about the deficiencies of their products. According to the food surveillance, two of the polluted types of honey came from Canada, one honey came from a non-EU country with no details of the place of origin. As the Minister of Consumer Protection announced, the complaints about honey come from isolated residues and the corresponding companies had already stopped selling or recalled potentially contaminated goods in the run-up to the ECJ judgment.

The fact that genetically modified rapeseed pollen was found in the honey is cause for considerable criticism of the control and take-back concept of the manufacturers and retailers for Consumer Protection Minister Bonde. At this point, trust in the company was clearly disappointed. The Minister for Consumer Protection therefore announced that the Baden-Württemberg food surveillance authorities will continue the special control campaign of the honey monitoring - also to check whether the self-regulation of the economy works. The food surveillance from Thuringia has announced a similar approach after traces of genetically modified pollen have been found in a sample of Canadian rapeseed honey, the "mdr" reported.

Opponents fear risks for health and the environment How critical most consumers are to the use of genetic engineering in agriculture became clear in the e-petition of the Federal Organic Food Industry (BÖLW) against agro-genetic engineering, which ultimately signed by more than 100,000 supporters has been. With the large number of signatories, the petition met the requirements for a public hearing on the subject in the Petitions Committee of the German Bundestag. The criticism of the initiators and signatories was essentially directed against the inadequate and inadequate approval practice of GM plants in the EU. The BÖLW CEO Felix Prinz zu Löwenstein emphasized in view of the support of the petition: “The great encouragement shows that people do not want any further risk technology, with which agricultural industry and politics tell us today that it is safe and necessary for them Progress. ”According to the critic of genetic engineering,“ Brussels and the German government want to bring GM plants to our fields that have not been properly tested ”. In this way, the poor approval practice leads to "agro-genetic engineering becoming a risk technology with unpredictable consequences for our health and the environment". (fp)

Picture: Dr. Klaus-Uwe Gerhardt

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