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US Beekeepers Establish New Certification Scheme to Prevent Fraud

Food Authenticity, July 23, 2020


The US demand for honey is roughly four times the amount produced by US beekeepers. Price differential between most imported honey and US produced honey indicates a vulnerability to adulteration, and beekeepers are working with Congress to appropriate more funds for U.S. Customs to test imported honey. 

Honey Jars
US Beekeepers Challenged By Honey Fraud

SDPB, July 17, 2020

When you think of fraud, honey may not come to mind - that is unless you’re a U.S. beekeeper.

Swarm of Bees
US Beekeepers Fear For Their Future

BBC News, California, June 26, 2020


Skyrocketing demand for honey has meant that prices in the US have almost doubled over the past decade - so why are American beekeepers struggling to make ends meet?

Bees at Work
Your Fancy Honey Might Not Actually Be Honey

Vice Us, March 9, 2020


Chris Hiatt knows he's had a good summer for honey when he can barely close his hands by the end of the season. At Hiatt Honey, his family's business, he regularly moves around hive boxes that weigh up to 70 pounds. "It is hard work, man," Hiatt, also the vice president of the American Honey Producers Association, said. 

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Catch the Buzz-Rampant Honey Fraud Spawns Creation of New Certification Program

Bee Culture, October 29, 2019


Confusion among honey consumers in Canada and the United States reached its peak over the last few weeks when the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and a lawsuit filed in Kansas alleged that the honey industry in both countries is rife with fraud.

New Zealand's Premium Honey Drawing Counterfeits

Paul Allen Reports, Bloomberg Business, June 21, 2015


Manuka Honey has a reputation for being a super food. At up to a hundred dollars a jar, New Zealand's premium honey is the latest product attracting the attention of counterfeiters wanting a quick buck. 

Why This Celebrity-Backed Honey is Worth Counterfeiting

Bruce Einhorn & Emma O'Brien, Bloomberg Business, June 19, 2015


Celebrated by Gwyneth Paltrow and Dr. Oz, manuka honey “is quite literally liquid gold” for the companies selling it.  Celebrities and foodies love manuka honey, the so-called superfood from New Zealand made by bees that pollinate manuka trees, shrublike plants native to the South Pacific nation. The honey (pronounced “mahh-nu-kah”) has become a consumer favorite thanks to claims that it can kill harmful bacteria and help the body fight infections.But the soaring popularity of manuka honey is causing headaches for Comvita and other producers. In New Zealand, costs are rising as local beekeepers can’t keep up with demand. That’s creating an opportunity both for fraudsters, who are selling plebeian honey and calling it manuka, and for producers outside New Zealand, who argue the country doesn’t have a monopoly on the honey.

Is Your Superfood Honey Fake? Experts Reveal Three Times More Jars of Healing Manuka Sold Around The World Than Being Produced in New Zealand

Maybelle Morgan, Mail Online, May 3, 2015


More jars of manuka honey, which is hailed as a 'superfood', are being sold in the UK than actually produced, according to a new report.

It means UK consumers hoping to take advantage of its apparent healing qualities could be buying bogus jars.  Celebrities like actress Scarlett Johansson, model Elizabeth Jagger and singer Katherine Jenkins all use manuka honey for a variety of health benefits.

Honey Smuggling Exposes Scope of Fraud at US Ports

Bill Lambrecht, San Antonia Express News, April 6, 2015


Workers at the Seabreeze Environmental Landfill in Angleton ripped open 300 55-gallon drums of contaminated Chinese honey with excavators last year and stirred the contents with layers of regular old American garbage.  Then they buried the sticky mess.  “When we’re done with it, the bees don’t even want it,” said Brian Karp, district manager for the landfill operator.  The 100 tons of honey — tainted with illegal antibiotics — was the last vestige of the lucrative career of Jun Yang of Houston, a Chinese-born entrepreneur who went to prison last year after pleading guilty to smuggling charges.

Tests Show Most Store Honey Isn't Honey

Andrew Schneider, Food Safety News, November 7, 2011


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.

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.