It’s sweet deception, honey

That honey you stir into your tea or drizzle on your toast may not be the pure and natural product you think it is. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports today that in spite of the sweetness-and-light image most people have of honey, the industrial honey trade is rife with contaminated products, faulty safeguards, organized crime and deliberately disguised products. This a great piece of journalism from the P-I, well worth the long read through the main story by Andrew Schneider.

Honeys path from hive to market can take many turns, including some that disguise its true origin.

Honey's path from hive to market can take many turns, including some that disguise its true origin.

According to the P-I, honey from China often is rerouted through other countries that have little to no native honey industry. Among the other disturbing findings in the article is that when American honey packers do find that the honey they buy is contaminated, the honey goes back to the producer. (Any guesses as to what a producer willing to ship bad honey once is going to do with this returned product?) None of this is helped by the fact that there is no federal definition of honey. The P-I follows up with at least one more story tomorrow: “Experts say there’s no such thing as ‘organic’ honey made in America, but that hasn’t stopped the industry from putting it on the market.”

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2 Responses to It’s sweet deception, honey

  1. JohnC says:

    When a product that’s seemingly as simple and straightforward as honey isn’t safe, you have to ask, what is OK to eat? I’m sorry, acknowledging how serious food contamination is, the phrase “laundered Chinese honey” cracks me up. Sounds like a plot for Austin Powers.

  2. njudah says:

    I have heard about similar corruption in the olive oil business. Even if it says “extra virgin olive oil” it may not be it at all but be hazelnut oil or something else, or a blend. And like you describe here, the way they’re generating that oil is bad bad bad….sigh…

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