International Workshop on the consequences of the ECJ judgement on GM pollen in honey

Harnack House - Conference Venue of the Max Planck Society

December 13, 2011 – December 14, 2011


The European Court of Justice (ECJ) decided in September 2011 that pollen of genetically modified (GM) plants (GMP) contained in honey counts as a food ingredient and requires authorisation. One of the consequences of this “reclassification” is that honey containing pollen of GMPs now falls within the scope of the regulation on GM food and feed. As a consequence, honey containing GM pollen can be placed on the market only if the GMP in question has been authorised as food and labeling requirements are observed. All unauthorised GMPs are subject to the zero tolerance policy.
The international workshop, accomplished in December 2011 in Berlin, aimed to discuss the consequences of the ECJ judgement for GM crop releases and cultivation in Germany and the EU and for the honey market. The workshop was expected to provide scientific data on practical measures for coexistence of beekeeping with commercial cultivation of GM plants and for experimental field releases. Detection methods for pollen in honey and labeling issues were discussed as well.

Group photo of participants of the International Workshop

Conference Information



The workshop was hosted by the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection. It was scientifically supported by the Julius Kühn-Institut, Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants and the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety.