You might have a view that honey is one of the purest delicacies from nature, but it doesn’t seem that the EU agree, as under new regulations, honey will have to have a label saying ‘contains pollen’, which could put some British beekeepers out of business.
The honey will also need to be tested to check that it does not contain any unauthorised genetically modified pollen, which can be expensive at £200 per batch. The people who face tests includes anyone who sells honey to the public, as well as Britain’s 40,000 amateur beekeepers, faces tests.
Honey had always been thought of as an entirely unadulterated product for the purposes of food labelling, until now.
The European Court of Justice has declared that rather than being an intrinsic component, pollen is an ingredient of honey.
For the first time, products will have to be labelled with a list of ingredients such as ‘honey (contains pollen)’.
Rowse, Britain’s largest supplier of retail honey, said that the bill for re-labelling and testing its entire range will run into hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The secretary of the Bee Farmer’s Association, John Howat, which represents Britain’s 300 commercial beekeepers, said “This ruling is a real nuisance.
“The idea that pollen is an ingredient of honey is nonsense. Pollen is integral to honey. Bees collect nectar and pollen. When they are storing it away pollen gets into the nectar and hence into the honey.”
The regulation came after an amateur beekeeper from Germany found small amounts of GM pollen in his honey. He sued the state of Bavaria, which owned trial GM maize plots near his hives, for damaging his produce.
We love our honey at QuoteSearcher, so can’t say that the different labelling will put us off eating it, however, we do understand how costly and how much of a nuisance this can be for beekeepers and suppliers.