GMO testing in Honey

New requirement for testing honey for non-GMO certification has been created after the European Court of Justice (case C-442/09) stated that honey containing GM Corn Mon810 is no longer allowed to be marketed. Arbro offers you a reliable and sensitive testing method for GMO  testing of honey. Arbro has successfully participated in international proficiency testing program for the detection of GMO using Real-Time PCR.

Introduction :

Honey is a crystalline sweet food that is produced by bees using nectar and flowers. The components are therefore purely plant-derived -bees collect nectar (sweet secretions of plants), honeydew (secretions from plant lice) and add their own secretions. The compounds responsible for the typical taste and aroma of honey develop thereby and the plant-based sugar and starches are split into their basic components (maltose, glucose, fructose). Honey gets its sweetness from the monosaccharides fructose and glucose and has approximately the same relative sweetness as that of granulated sugar. It has attractive chemical properties for baking and a distinctive flavor that leads some people to prefer it over sugar and other sweeteners.

Recent Regulatory Framework in GMO testing in Honey:

Court of Justice of the European Union, Press release No. 79/11, Luxemburg, September 6,2011, Judgment in Case C-442/09-A dispute between Mr Bablok, an amateur beekeeper, and Freistaat Bayern (State of Bavaria, Germany) holds that Honey and food supplements containing pollen derived from a GMO are foodstuffs produced from GMOs which cannot be marketed without prior authorization.

Background Information and recent examples of GMO testing in Honey:

Pollen of the following plants will be present in the honey when bees harvest from genetically modified plants-

Nectariferous rapeseed:

GM rapeseed in the EU only has been planted in field tests to date; it occupies more than sixty percent of Canadian cultivation area since 1999. In a variety of honey products that have been imported from Canada, pollen from genetically modified rapeseed has been detected.

Nectariferous maize:

Since no nectar is produced in the male flowers at the tip of the plant. Maize is not particularly interesting to bees and only is rarely visited. Nonetheless, flowering maize plays a role for bees as a source of pollen. Maize was detected in many probes but the quantities found were so low that it was impossible to determine whether GM maize actually was in question. In contrast, it must be assumed that significant proportions of pollen from GM maize will be found in bees’ pollen baskets in the case that bee colonies are established in the vicinity of fields of GM maize.

Other nectariferous plants:

Despite the fact that soy is not a collection source for honeybees, traces of this plant are found in honey when bees travel through areas in which soy is cultivated in Argentina. Pollen from GM soy may, therefore, be detected in many Argentinean kinds of honey, albeit in very minuscule quantities.

Cotton :

A situation with regard to cotton is also developing as is the case with rapeseed. This plant is used primarily as fiber, feed and cotton oil for cooking and often serves as a collecting area for bees.

Testing for GMO in Honey:

Arbro offers RT-PCR based testing of GMO testing for your honey products and our method is internationally validated and widely accepted as the most efficient way to screen for GMOs. Additional screening tests may be advisable for different commodities and ingredients and please contact us with our experts for more information about devising the best testing strategy for your product. We are NABL ISO 17025:2005, Govt Approved Laboratory for GMO testing. We also offer a comprehensive suite of GMO tests for corn, corn by-products, soybeans, canola and rice being exported to the European Union, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. We have 17 matrices under our NABL ISO 17025:2005 GMO testing scope.

Contact us today for more information and pricing for the test!

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