Honey Laws - GMOs & Pollen

(The following is brought to us by CATCH THE BUZZ (Kim Flottum) Bee Culture, The Magazine of American Beekeeping, published by A.I. Root Company.)   4/25/13

Honey's In The News!

Starting with GMO Labeling. Boxer, DeFazio introduce federal GMO labeling bill

By Hank Schultz, in Nutra-Ingredients, USA

A bill requiring the labeling of GMO ingredients has been introduced at the federal level by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-CA and Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-OR.  Even though the bill’s chances of passage are uncertain, observers see it as a watershed moment.

http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Regulation/Boxer-DeFazio-introduce-federal-GMO-labeling-bill

And this begs the future question… will honey made from GMO plants require GMO labels? The EU wrestled with this already, and didn’t come to an easy solution for U.S. honey.

 And Then, the question of

Is Honey, Honey, if it doesn’t contain pollen? Has been answered. Yes, it is. In every case heard.

Wisconsin, Feb 8, 2013

Dismissed in Federal Court in Regan vs. Sue Honey Ass’n.

Wis honey standard is based on a Codex Alimentarius provision that prohibits pollen removal.

Federal Law has no standard for honey identity, and the label uses the common or usual name – honey.

Honey is honey, even in the absence of pollen, the court said.

Feb 13, 2013

Is honey, honey if it does not contain pollen?

Brod vs. Sioux Honey, Ross vs. Sioux Honey, Overton vs CVS Caremark Corp, Guerrero vs. Target Corp. and Honeytree.

Yes, because of conflicting state and federal laws. No federal standard of identity for honey. So, it is what’s called conflict preemption, where it is impossible for a private party to comply with both state and federal law, and obstacle preemption where the state law stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of of the full purposes and objections of congress. Plus, express preemption, which says, essentially, that if that’s the way it is in some places, that’s the way it will be here.

A simple summary would be that the courts want uniformity between state and federal laws.

So it goes.