EU votes on GM maize and honey
UK MEPs show their support for GM
Nearly half of the UK MEPs voted in favour of GM maize whilst 80% of them voted to keep the presence of GM pollen in honey hidden fron consumers.
On the 16th January 2014, the European Parliament rejected a second GM maize crop in EU fields.
The motion, from the Environment Committee, instructed the Council of Ministers to oppose commercialisation of the controversial GM maize Pioneer1507 on the grounds it will harm non-target insects like butterflies and because it is tolerant to the weedkiller glufosinate. The resolution was passed by 385 votes to 201 with 30 abstentions (62.5% in favour).
But campaign group GM Freeze noted with dismay that of 73 total UK MEPs 33 voted against the motion (45.2%), effectively signalling their support for this unwanted, risky GM crop.
GM Freeze Director Helena Paul commented:
“We know the UK public does not want GM crops, yet when it comes to the resolution more UK MEPs failed to vote at all than voted to keep a new GM crop out of EU fields. Voters need to take note.
See how the UK MEPs voted.
GM Freeze also said it was surprised and disappointed by the number of UK MEPs who voted on 15th January to keep GM pollen in honey hidden from consumers. 80% (58) of them voted in favour of keeping it hidden.
The motion, which was adopted, supports Commission attempts to redefine pollen as a “constituent” of honey, rather than an ingredient as ruled by the European Court of Justice.
Of 73 UK MEPs total, only 15 voted against the controversial motion (nine didn’t vote at all and one abstained). 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.
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.”
See how the UK MEPs voted.
For more information, read our feature on GMOs in honey.