BRUSSELS — Honey from nations such as Argentina and China using genetically-modified cereals could face import restrictions into the EU following a key judicial ruling, the European Commission said on Wednesday.
The EU's top court, the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice, on Tuesday ruled that honey containing even tiny traces of pollen from GM maize could not be sold in the 27-nation bloc without prior authorisation.
"It is very likely that indeed the ruling of the court will have an impact on imports of honey into the EU, because the EU is not self-sufficient when it comes to honey," said commission spokesman Frederic Vincent.
"Some of the honey imported into the EU comes from countries like Argentina and China, where you have some GM production. So we will have to look into that," he added.
The court said that honey and food supplements containing pollen derived from a genetically-modified organism were foodstuffs produced from GMOs which could not be marketed without prior authorisation.
The decision, which delighted environmental campaigners against the march of so-called 'Frankenfoods,' stemmed from a claim mounted by amateur German beekeeper Karl Heinz Bablok and the state of Bavaria.
Authorised GM maize was grown there by US industry giant Monsanto just hundreds of yards from Bablok's bees.
EU governments voted earlier this year to allow crops containing tiny traces of genetically-modified produce to enter the European food chain for the first time, but the honey ruling may see tightened rules re-introduced.
"The commission of course will abide by the ECJ ruling, but we will have to analyze the 50-page ruling from the court to ensure compliance with it," Vincent added.
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