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A Not-So-Sweet Story of Tainted Honey

by: countrycat

Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 06:00:00 AM CDT

Just how "pure" is that honey in your kitchen cabinets?  Like most agricultural products, honey is big business.   Recent allegations that Chinese honey tainted with heavy metals & antibiotics is flooding the US market is a concern - & one more reason to buy local honey whenever you can!

Food Safety News writes about the practice of "honey laundering:"

Food safety investigators from the European Union barred all shipments of honey from India because of the presence of lead and illegal animal antibiotics.  Further, they found an even larger amount of honey apparently had been concocted without the help of bees, made from artificial sweeteners and then extensively filtered to remove any proof of contaminants or adulteration or indications of precisely where the honey actually originated. 

This comes a year after the US supposedly cracked down Chinese honey smuggling rings:

Patrick Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, cautioned that while the honey was tainted with antibiotics that are not approved by US regulators for use in honey production, there was no reason for the public to "panic."

"There is no allegation and no reason to believe that any of the honey involved in this case had led to any injury or illness," he told reporters, adding that the bulk of the imported honey was of a commercial grade and would have been diluted before it reached consumers.

"Diluted."  Feel safer now?

Much of this honey was shipped through India in an effort to disguise its country of origin, although the presence of antibiotics in Indian-produced honey has been a source of concern in that country:

"Antibiotics in honey will reach the bacteria in our guts and sustained long-term exposure to tiny doses of antibiotics is the perfect recipe for drug resistance," Virdi told The Telegraph.

The CSE said it detected antibiotics in samples of honey sold by Dabur, Himalaya, Mehsons, Patanjali, Baidyanath, Khadi, Himflora, Gold and Umang. Samples of one Indian brand — Hitkari — did not reveal any antibiotics.

That's one reason that European Union banned imports of honey from India, although the US is still importing it:

FSN points to shipping data from Aug. 12 tracking the route of some 688,000 pounds of honey from the Chinese port of Nansha in Guangzhou, China, to Little Bee Honey, an exporter in India, over the previous month. Within the previous week, shipping documents showed that six shipments of honey, with the same identification numbers as honey shipped from China, had gone from Little Bee to Los Angeles.

Buying local food whenever possible helps protect your health, enriches our local economy, and increases food diversity.  Insist on local honey and purchase raw honey whenever possible. 
North Carolina is one several states to regulate the marketing of honey inside the state:

Consumers unknowingly purchase honey which is has been altered in some way, and is no longer considered to be pure honey. 

The honey standards board has set up new measures to curb unscrupulous sellers from selling adulterated honey. Honey is considered to be adulterated, or fake, if any product has been added to it prior to the sale of the honey.

"Raw" honey is honey that hasn't been heated and has no additives.  You can often purchase this from your local honey producers.  Why buy honey from China or even from across the country when Alabama beekeepers can provide the real thing at a low cost?

Find Alabama beekeepers and learn more about local beekeeping at the Alabama Beekeepers Web site.

countrycat :: A Not-So-Sweet Story of Tainted Honey
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I do not (4.00 / 1)
see how anyone could trust China- repressive government - Olympic deception - painted toys - sheet rock - etc. I buy only local honey and I try to buy American whenever posible. I look at the labels and pay a little more most of the time but the quality is worth it. WAKE UP AMERIKA!! Sorry, I could not resist.

Homestead Hollow (4.00 / 2)

That's where I stock up on my honey.


They have all kinds of other wonderful things.  Arts & crafts, fun for the kids, and be sure to take Hwy 11 South from there at some point because you will hit William's Orchard-- full of locally grown produce.  And the best-looking mums ever.  Many a Homestead Hollow tourist has been roped into stopping at the sight of all those mums.

But I have to tell you...  The real gem is the fresh pressed apple cider.  I've gleefully made myself sick on the stuff on more than one occasion.  Oh, and fried pies.  Good lord the fried pies!

I have the good fortune of living a stone's throw from this place and passing it every morning on the way to the school.

My Honey Doesn't Get More Local! (4.00 / 2)
The owner of the lot next to me is past president of the Madison County Beekeepers and his hives are about 100 yards from my back door. I trade him homemade jelly and he trades me honey. Works well for both of us1

That's great! (0.00 / 0)
We buy local honey too.  And we're lucky enough to have a wild hive of honeybees up on the mountain behind the house.  They're all over the garden in the spring and summer.

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."  - John Kenneth Galbraith

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