Article written by Arturo Hatrick of Apitrack
Due to the request of a german beekeeper, who found himself affected due to the fact that the pollen on his beehives contained OGM which came from a near cornfield planted with a variety comercialized by Monsando, the EU court ruled only two days ago that in order to comercialize any beehive product that contains GMO a previous authorization must be requested. This means that several countries which use OGM, as Argentina, Brazil, China, United States, Ukraine, Uruguay and many others in the world, will see their possibilities to sell honey to the EU market on the medium/short term.
Due to the healty-products is on continuos growing rapidly in the last years and that the honey production is on a stall due to several motives (The offer grows at 1.3% anually – the demand at 2.7% annually) and that the mentioned countries generate more than the 50% of the honey world production, if the current conditions mantain the following can be predicted:
- In short term: A strong rise in the honey price due to the lack of offer.
- In medium term:The exporter countries will begin to filter the honey to remove the pollen, removing a important composition element with high protein and aminoacid content that benefits the consumers. Destroying the traceability in the process. A loss of interest in the product by the consumers, driven by the lack of this essencial elements.
- In the long Term: The honey producers will abandon activity leading to a world decrease of beehives, which will have a catastrofic effect on biodiversity, human food supplies ( which relies on bee pollination ) and nature.
The EU authorities must have foreseen this too, since yesterday, only 24 hours after the court rule, a spokesman of the Consumer Protection and Health ,Frédérik Vincent said:
- “There is no risk” (health) and Brusels is discarding the option to withdraw “thousands of honey jars” being sold on the EU under the third country label. “The Honey is not dangerous, only has one transgenic organism” insisted..
- Vincent has recognized that Brussels will analize, along with health experts from the member states on the coming september 22nd, if its necessary to review the EU legislation of 1998 which regulates the use of transgenic organisms for animal and human consumption after reminding that “when Monsanto 810 (corn) was approved on 1998 it was approved for animal and human consumption. For human consumption was approved the cornmeal, corn gluten, corn ground, corn starch and corn oil”.
- “On the list Monsanto 810 was not approved for honey”, recognized then that one of the possible consecuences of the EU court rule will be the need for Monsanto to request authorization to use this trangenic on the manufacture of honey and comercialization on the EU.
- “If we have to amend the legislation or if the member estates have to adopt some specific meassures is something that is yet unknown”
Questioning the reasons for this akward decision is logical due to:
- There is no health risk, meaning that the honey containing OGM es healthy and innocuous to the consumers.
- With a simple request from Monsanto honey produced from genetically modified corn would be authorized to be comercialized.
- There is a certain risk to affect a industry which is a key element to the world food production (pollination).
- Houndreds of thousands of families will be left without work. Families tha use the apiculture as survival economy on countries with few posibilites to gain an alternative work.
Its true that the harvest of OGM produce a resistence to antibiotics, due to the developing methods used; almost a 30% more of agrochemicals are used compared to conventionals; affecting insects, as the bee; depending strategically on the developers, etc, but its also true that today even after all the effort applied to the subject not one negative effect on human beings has been proved ( recognized even by EU). Also there is no doubt that they are a important tool to fight world hunger.
Has someone stop to think how many millons would starve, if for example, the soybean production would be done with traditional methods?
I believe that it’s time for rationality, to abandon the rigid postures that lead the EU to this crisis, certanly not necessary, and that we all work to defend the bees, whatever if they are European, American, Asiatic or African, since that by defending them we are defending our habitat, our food and our planet, which is not a small task by the way.