Court Win for European Beekeepers!
This is very big news.
And beekeepers have won a major victory in Europe that could further hold up GM (genetically modified) crop plantings. See September 6, 2011 stories below.
Honey that contains traces of pollen from genetically modified crops needs special authorization before it can be sold, the European Union’s top court said Tuesday, in a judgment that could have widespread consequences on the bloc’s policy on genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.
The ruling from the European Court of Justice came after several Bavarian beekeepers demanded compensation from their government for honey and food supplements that contained traces of pollen from genetically modified maize.
The beekeepers had their hives close to fields where the Bavarian government was growing Monsanto’s MON 810 maize for research purposes.
The EU has strict guidelines on authorizing and informing consumers about foods containing GMOs – a policy that has caused problems for producers of genetically modified seeds such as U.S.-based Monsanto Co. that are used to much laxer rules in other parts of the world.
And a message for all beekeepers EVERYWHERE:
A message from the President of the European Professional Beekeepers Association:
Big day for us! We won our case at the European Court of Justice. We are playing offense now. Your governments can no longer argue, that beekeepers are not entitled to protection and compensation. This means, that you need to go to your government agencies now and ask for safety distances to be required.
10 km (6.2 miles) around every honey producing hive is what we need to argue for.
Monsanto has fought us all the way. They know, this may be the beginning of the end for GMO cultivation in Europe.
Importers will have to analyze their honey for GMOs and label it. If the GMOs are not approved in the EU. The honey cannot be marketed here.
From Water Haefeker, President, European Professional Beekeepers Association