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TOPIC: Laundered Honey

Laundered Honey 2 years, 10 months ago #230

  • Lakebilly
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Laundered honey: either grin and bear it, or buy the real article from farmers markets. Coco Mault/Flickr
Peruse the sweetener shelf of a US supermarket, and you'll find an array of bear-shaped jars glistening with golden honey, all of it priced to move.
Ever wonder why the ongoing collapse of US honeybee populations hasn't caused a scarcity of honey or a spike in prices? I think the ace investigative reporter Andrew Schneider of Food Safety News might have the answer. In an August investigation, Schneider revealed:
A third or more of all the honey consumed in the U.S. is likely to have been smuggled in from China and may be tainted with illegal antibiotics and heavy metals. A Food Safety News investigation has documented that millions of pounds of honey banned as unsafe in dozens of countries are being imported and sold here in record quantities.
Today, Schneider is back with a new report, already highlighted by my colleague Stephanie Mencimer but worth delving into more.
Schneider rounded up more than 60 samples of honey from retailers in 10 states and the District of Columbia and had them analyzed at a Texas A&M University lab. The result: Three-quarters of the samples were "ultra-filtered"—a process in which 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."
That last bit is key. When you strip honey of its pollen, it becomes impossible to trace its origins. Chinese honey routinely has been found to contain additives and contaminants. To avoid scrutiny in countries like the United States, China's honey industry has been funneling its product into other nations like India. The ultra-filtering process appears to be a honey-laundering tool, Schneider reports.
In 2010, the FDA seized 64 drums of imported Chinese honey from a Philadelphia distribution center "because it contained a potent antibiotic that could lead to serious illness or death," the agency reported in a press release. But Schneider reported that FDA tests at most 5 percent of imported honey. And evidently, dodgy Chinese honey has kept flowing into US supermarkets, duping consumers.
As Schneider put it, "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."
Even our own FDA has ruled that "any product that's been ultra-filtered and no longer contains pollen isn't honey," Schneider reported. But get this: "the FDA isn't checking honey sold here to see if it contains pollen." Good thing Schneider is.
On a more upbeat note, while Schneider's Texas A&M tester found the great bulk of honey found in big-box stores and supermarkets has been stripped of all pollen, the same wasn't true for product samples from farmers markets, co-ops and "natural" stores, all of which "had the full, anticipated, amount of pollen." And certified organic honey bought from conventional retailers also showed well. Of the seven samples tested—all of which came from Brazil, Schneieder reported—only one had been utlra-filtered.
In the story, several sources tell Schneider that the only reason to ultra-filter honey is to hide its origins. The process actually decreases quality, because pollen contains protein and trace nutrients. Meanwhile, conventional filtering strips out "bee parts, wax, debris from the hives and other visible contaminants but will leave the pollen in place," Schneider reported.

motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2011/11/sup...kets-sell-fake-honey
I have NOT failed, I have only found many many ways that do not work!

Re: Laundered Honey 2 years, 10 months ago #231

  • Ray
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Put two honey bottles on a supermarket shelf along side each other. which one do you think the people will buy. the cheapest honey bottle they can get. do you think they care if its pure American honey or poison from china. for 30 years. I have preached to the people that we need a new political party. 50 years ago we fed the world. 10 years from now we wont be-able to feed our own country because the average age of our farmers is 58.

Re: Laundered Honey 2 years, 10 months ago #233

  • NorTracNY
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Actually I think most people naively trust the government to keep the food safe. If the honey was labeled "Produced in China with chemicals dangerous chemicals added" I don't think it would sell. People really have no clue about the state of the food industry. Industry being a key word.

Re: Laundered Honey 2 years, 10 months ago #234

  • Ray
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We shouldn't buy food from other countries. we should buy american food and support our farmers. I don't want government in our food industry. look what they have done to our farming industry now. government has destroyed a generation of farmers. High food prices are starting to show up now because we cant grow enough food because of our government. wait 10 years. only people that will eat are the people that know how to grow their own food. this honey article is nothing. its political. The liberal media don't have the guts to tell the american people the real truth. china is dumping a lot more than what we all don't know about.

Re: Laundered Honey 2 years, 10 months ago #245

  • Joe H
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I just saw a notice that Ontario County Cooperative Extension is recruiting for a new position: local foods educator. This is a great idea and will help get consumers in our area to think about buying local. If you know anyone who might be perfect for the position you should let them know about it.

Joe H.

Re: Laundered Honey 2 years, 10 months ago #248

  • Gerry
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Good idea about labeling honey from China as

"Adulterated" Honey

Think globally/Act Locally

Gerry

Re: Laundered Honey 2 years, 10 months ago #260

  • NorTracNY
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Interesting that the study done recently found that Wegman's clover honey is not really honey (no pollen). Now we know why they did not come out in support of the NYS Honey Standard.

www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/11/tests-sho...re-honey-isnt-honey/
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