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