If I had a nickel for every time I told people to be aware of the honey they are buying at their local markets… Well, I wouldn’t be rich, but I sure would have a lot of nickels! I have never been a fan of what is often referred to as “fancy” honey in supermarkets or boutique stores. I learned a long time ago, if honey is clear, it is probably far more damaging to your health than if you were to slug down a few sodas every day. As it turns out, not only is far too much of that honey fraudulent, but it is also hurting the honey industry as a whole.
This, as it turns out, is not just a problem in this category of honey, either. We have seen numerous reports and even legal action against Manuka honey companies blending their honey to make a larger profit. Vice recently experimented and found that more often than not, imported honey of all types were diluted to some extent. This is not only providing consumers with a bad and inferior product, though, as it may also be driving beekeepers out of business.
When these products are diluted, manufacturers can stretch out the honey. What was once 16 ounces of honey is suddenly turned into 24 or 36 after dilution. Because they are stretching out the honey, they can sell it far cheaper, forcing honey prices across the board to fall. This means honest honey producers are then forced to compete with the fraudulent honey prices, which leads to smaller margins which could eventually put them out of business simply because they can no longer make what they need to survive.
The executive director of the Resnick Center for Food Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law, Michael Roberts, stated, “As long as adulterated imported honey floods the domestic market, US honey producers will find it very difficult to build a sustainable business model predicated on authentic honey.” He added, “These battles that are being fought are battles of survival, quite frankly.”
Kent Heitzinger is an attorney that has been fighting this battle for quite some time. He stated, “We tested about 60 to 70 different companies, and we found that about 50 to 60 percent of those honeys tested are bad honey. Out of 110 products, around 70 percent were adulterated. There’s been something done to them. It is just pure fraud in our opinion. They’re selling products to the American public that isn’t what it says it is.”
Thankfully, there are still honest honey producers both in the United States and abroad. Manuka Honey USA prides itself on the fact our honey product is pure New Zealand raw Manuka honey. If you would like to learn more about our honey products or make a purchase, please click here. And, remember, we offer FREE shipping on all orders of $150 or more.
To see the full report on VICE, click here.