Friday 20 September 2013

Honey Lovers must read

My previous post on So no dairy milk then what, highlighted about the demand of dairy milk.  Now there is also more demand than supply of honey.  Interestingly, there is more honey in the market than it can produce.  How can it be?  Let see below articles.  It really takes a lot of wisdom as a consumer to look out for SAFETY than effectiveness.  There are so many marketing lines out there which claim their effectiveness yet neglected the safety of their products.  You may wish to read here, .

Additional update, 3 Oct 2018


Surprised? I was.
More than three-fourths of the honey sold in U.S. grocery stores isn’t exactly what the bees produce, according to testing done exclusively for Food Safety News.
The results show that the pollen frequently has been filtered out of products labeled “honey.”
The removal of these microscopic particles from deep within a flower would make the nectar flunk the quality standards set by most of the world’s food safety agencies.
In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration says that any product that’s been ultra-filtered and no longer contains pollen isn’t honey. However, the FDA isn’t checking honey sold here to see if it contains pollen.
Filtering out the pollen is more costly and reduces the health value and shelf-life of the final product. So why do it? To mask the orgins of where the 'honey' came from:
Ultra filtering is a high-tech procedure where honey is heated, sometimes watered down and then forced at high pressure through extremely small filters to remove pollen, which is the only foolproof sign identifying the source of the honey. It is a spin-off of a technique refined by the Chinese, who have illegally dumped tons of their honey – some containing illegal antibiotics – on the U.S. market for years.
The food safety divisions of the  World Health Organization, the European Commission and dozens of others also have ruled that without pollen there is no way to determine whether the honey came from legitimate and safe sources.
Food Safety News decided to test honey sold in various outlets after its earlier investigation found U.S. groceries flooded with Indian honey banned in Europe as unsafe because of contamination with antibiotics, heavy metal and a total lack of pollen which prevented tracking its origin.
Removal of all pollen from honey “makes no sense” and is completely contrary to marketing the highest quality product possible, Mark Jensen, president of the American Honey Producers Association, told Food Safety News.
“I don’t know of any U.S. producer that would want to do that. Elimination of all pollen can only be achieved by ultra-filtering and this filtration process does nothing but cost money and diminish the quality of the honey,” Jensen said.
“There is only one reason to ultra-filter honey and there’s nothing good about it,” he says.
In addition to using harmful pesiticides and antibiotics, this "laundered" honey is often diluted with corn syrup and other illegal sweeteners.
Food Safety News funded testing of 'honey' from the major sellers. Here are the top-line results:
Food Safety News purchased more than 60 jars, jugs and plastic bears of honey in 10 states and the District of Columbia.
The contents were analyzed for pollen by Vaughn Bryant, a professor at Texas A&M University and one of the nation’s premier melissopalynologists, or investigators of pollen in honey.
Bryant, who is director of the Palynology Research Laboratory, found that among the containers of honey provided by Food Safety News:
  • 76 percent of samples bought at groceries had all the pollen removed, These were stores like TOP Food, Safeway, Giant Eagle, QFC, Kroger, Metro Market, Harris Teeter, A&P, Stop & Shop and King Soopers.
  • 100 percent of the honey sampled from drugstores like Walgreens, Rite-Aid and CVS Pharmacy had no pollen.
  • 77 percent of the honey sampled from big box stores like Costco, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Target and H-E-B had the pollen filtered out.
  • 100 percent of the honey packaged in the small individual service portions from Smucker, McDonald’s and KFC had the pollen removed.
  • Bryant found that every one of the samples Food Safety News bought at farmers markets, co-ops and “natural” stores like PCC and Trader Joe’s had the full, anticipated, amount of pollen.
Food Saftey News' report is worth reading in full.
Find here,, if your honey at home is fake.

The New Zealand government and the honey industry were hard-pressed to act quickly as a national warning was issued in Britain amid concerns of food safety over fake honey based on a statement made by Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye. 

The Food Standars Agency (FSA) in the UK issued a national warming about illegal and misleading claims indicated on the labels of manuka honey jars. Ms Kaye said it's important for New Zealand to maintain its integrity on food labels, and this is the reason that there should be proper standards in labeling.
The chairman and chief executive of Littleover Group in Derby, Tony Spacey, said that most of the "shonky" manuka honey in the UK came from New Zealand. The manuka honey is bottled in New Zealand and exported by New Zealanders. Mr Spacey said he strongly suggests that New Zealand should "stop exporting crap".
 Ms Kaye said New Zealand's honey industry representatives and government officials will meet again as they seek to correct the misleading claims on manuka honey jars. She said the challenging part was getting around the technicalities. In order to provide the correct label, the industry needs to know what the label needs to say exactly. Ms Kaye said there weren't any available scientific markers as of this moment. The centre of the whole issue was really what the labels on the honey jars claim.
New Zealand should work to address the labeling issue since there is a big opportunity in Britain for makers of honey. Ms Kaye said there is great demand for manuka honey and if the label is corrected, the honey industry in New Zealand can take advantage of the growth opportunity.
John Rawcliffe of th UMF Honey Association said that domestic and international customers who buy honey products with the UMFHA quality mark are assured of product safety. Products with this quality seal have been subjected to extensive tests before being exported to other countries.
Mr Rawcliffe said New Zealand's manuka honey was highly sought by international customers that eventually there was a supply shortage. These customers were willing to pay a premium price for honey. Mr Rawcliffe also said the association has already formed partnerships with international agencies to create better testing methods to protect New Zealand's honey exports.
by SEAN POULTER, Daily Mail
Food watchdogs have ordered all Chinese-produced honey to be withdrawn from sale after trials found that much of it is contaminated by antibiotics.
Forty per cent of the honey sold in the UK comes from China.
Tests of 16 pots found that ten contained the powerful antibiotic chloramphenicol.
The chemical is a trigger for aplastic anaemia, a rare but serious blood disorder which affects up to 100 people in Britain each year. It has also been linked to leukaemia.
The news comes just two weeks after the Food Standards Agency told leading supermarkets to withdraw specific batches of own-brand honey produced in China which were found to be contaminated with another antibiotic, streptomycin.
The sudden withdrawal of all Chinese honey threatens to cause a UK shortage.
Two Tesco Finest Acacia Honey jars tested positive for chloramphenicol. One also contained traces of streptomycin.
A pot of Tesco Pure Set Honey also tested positive for both.
Two jars of Sainsbury's ownbrand honey and a Gales product tested positive for both.
Honey from Rowse, Bee's Queen and Asda also tested positive for at least one of the chemicals.
It is understood that the antibiotics are used in sprays by Chinese beekeepers to keep down bacterial infection of beehives.
The country's shambolic food safeguards system means there is no proper testing to ensure illegal residues do not get into food.
The FSA's original approach was to remove only batches of Chinese honey which tested positive for illegal contaminants.
However, it adopted a blanket ban because the problem appears to be so widespread.
Concern about potentially harmful residues in Chinese food imports led the EU and Britain to ban all new shipments. But at that stage they did not order recalls of products on shelves.
Apart from 11 tonnes of honey, China exports 17,000 tonnes of fish and shellfish and 48 tonnes of rabbit meat to Britain each year.
The FSA has convened a meeting of independent scientific experts to assess the risk.
It said consumers could use Chinese honey already in their cupboards because the risk was considered 'extremely small'.

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