Honey Laundering: Toxic Chinese Honey is Sold in US Stores

As if fans of honey needed yet another reason to buy straight from local beekeepers — or, better yet, to keep their own honey bees — a new investigative report from Food Safety News warns that tainted honey from China is ending up on American store shelves and on the tables of consumers.

Asian honey, tainted with illegal antibiotics, heavy metals, and in some cases agriicultural chemicals that are banned from use in many countries including Canada, has for some time been smuggled into Europe and North America. Alarmingly, Food Safety News, this practice continues, “despite assurances from the Food and Drug Administration and other federal officials that the hundreds of millions of pounds reaching store shelves were authentic and safe following the widespread arrests and convictions of major smugglers over the last two years.”

Experts interviewed by Food Safety News say some of the largest and most long-established U.S. honey packers are knowingly buying mislabeled, transshipped or possibly altered honey so they can sell it cheaper than those companies who demand safety, quality and rigorously inspected honey.

“It’s no secret that the honey smuggling is being driven by money, the desire to save a couple of pennies a pound,” said Richard Adee, who is the Washington Legislative Chairman of the American Honey Producers Association.

“These big packers are still using imported honey of uncertain safety that they know is illegal because they know their chances of getting caught are slim,” Adee said.

Read the full report by Andrew Schneider at Food Safety News: Asian Honey, Banned in Europe, Is Flooding U.S. Grocery Shelves