A Bee in the Bonnet

The European Parliament in Strasbourg is buzzing with excitement this week over a major challenge to a ruling by judges in the Court of Justice. In 2011 Europe's highest court ruled that pollen is an ingredient of honey, in direct contradiction to all understanding and practices in the sector. The judge's decision will cost EU honey producers an estimated £2.7 million in re-labelling jars of honey to indicate that they contain pollen, potentially undermining consumer confidence in honey. MEPs will vote this week to declare that pollen is not an ingredient of honey, throwing down a direct challenge to the European courts.

Commenting on the controversial debate, Scottish Conservative Euro MP Struan Stevenson said:

"It is essential that we win this vote to ensure that pollen is recognised as a constituent of honey rather than an ingredient. Europe's bees have been in sharp decline for the past decade and the last thing we need is a daft legal judgment that will hit the industry with massive extra costs and red tape. The European Court of Justice has got a bee in its bonnet about pollen and they need to be told to buzz off!"