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for a responsible, fair & sustainable food system

UK MEPs Vote to Hide GM Pollen in Honey

Immediate release (14 Jan 2014)

Calls to: Helena Paul 07724 711 183

GM Freeze today said it was surprised and disappointed by the number of UK MEPs who voted on 15 January to keep GM pollen in honey hidden from consumers. [1]

The report adopted, brought from the Environment Committee by UK MEP Julie Girling, upholds Commission attempts to redefine pollen as a “constituent” of honey, rather than an ingredient as ruled by the European Court of Justice. Of the 673 MEP votes, 430 (64%) supported the report. [2]

Of 73 UK MEPs total, only 15 voted against the controversial report (nine didn’t vote at all and one abstained). [3] Every other UK MEP either voted for the report, effectively undermining the ECJ ruling by supporting the Commission’s redefinition of pollen. This redefinition makes it possible to avoid labelling honey containing GM pollen.

GM Freeze Director Helena Paul said:

With European elections coming up in May GM Freeze thought people should know if their MEP voted ‘Yes’ to undermining the rule of law and keeping GM pollen in honey hidden from them. We are surprised so many did, but perhaps they thought no one would notice, or perhaps they did not understand what was at stake.

We thank the MEPs who voted ‘No’, and we hope UK voters use this information to ask the rest of the UK’s MEPs to explain their ‘Yes’ votes.

We also want MEPs to know that by voting in this way they are letting down their constituents, who have a right to know what is in their honey and also have a right to choose GM-free. Of course the best way to avoid GM pollen in honey, and GM contamination of our food more widely, is to make Europe GM-free.

Ends

 

Notes

[1] GM Freeze, 14 January 2014. “MEPs Must Uphold the Rule of Law on GM Honey

[2] See www.votewatch.eu//en/honey-draft-legislative-resolution-vote-commission-proposal-ordinary-legislative-procedure-first-rea.html

[3] “No” votes welcomed by GM Freeze for trying to secure labels on GM honey:

MEPConstituency
John Stuart AGNEWEast of England
Martina ANDERSONNorthern Ireland
Gerard BATTENLondon
Derek Roland CLARKEast Midlands
William (The Earl of) DARTMOUTHSouth West England
Jill EVANSWales
Nigel FARAGESouth East of England
Nick GRIFFINNorth West England
Stephen HUGHESNorth East England
Jean LAMBERTLondon
Paul NUTTALLNorth West England
Nicole SINCLAIREWest Midlands
Alyn SMITHScotland
Keith TAYLORSouth East England
Glenis WILLMOTTEast Midlands

Godfrey BLOOM, John BUFTON, Trevor COLMAN, Nirj DEVA, James ELLES, Richard HOWITT, Ian HUDGHTON, Brian SIMPSON and Derek VAUGHAN did not vote.

Peter SKINNER abstained.