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Honey Made Near Monsanto GM Maize May Face EU Limits

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page, and our Millions Against Monsanto page.

Beekeepers with hives close to fields of Monsanto Co. genetically modified maize can't sell their honey in the European Union without regulatory approval, an adviser to the EU's highest court said.

The unintentional presence in honey "even of a minute quantity of pollen" from the maize is sufficient reason to restrict its sale, Advocate General Yves Bot of the European Court of Justice said in a non-binding opinion today.

"Food containing material from a genetically modified plant, whether that material is included intentionally or not, must always be regarded as food produced" from modified plants, said Bot. The Luxembourg-based EU tribunal follows such advice most of the time. Rulings normally follow within six months of an opinion.

EU rules require prior authorization before genetically modified goods can be put on the market. The bloc's 27 nations are split over the safety of food produced from genetically modified crops. This is slowing EU permission to grow them and has prompted complaints by the U.S. and other trade partners.

Beekeepers "have a real problem," said Achim Willand, the lawyer for the group of producers that brought the case.