The drive to cash in on the honey craze has been taken too far too often by some honey providers. In the case of Evergreen Life and company manager Tak Yoon Lee, it meant some extremely heavy fines. According to reports, the company was fined $260,000 and Lee himself was fined an additional $112,500.
Trying to Cash In
If you are a fan of Manuka honey, you know the thing that drives the price more than anything else is the UMF. Part of the formula for measuring UMF, or unique Manuka factor, is the level of Methylglyoxal present in the honey. This is an antacid created by dihydroxyacetone, which is an omega acid, that is present in Manuka flowers.
Lee and Evergreen Life were adding chemicals to their honey in an effort to make it appear as though their honey had higher levels of Methylglyoxal present, thereby driving the price of their product. With so many eyes on the industry, cheating consumers in this manner was not taken lightly by the judge presiding over the case.
Judge Eddie Paul stated the offenses by the company and Lee went “to the heart of the Manuka honey industry.” He further stated, “Clearly, there was deception here and a breach of trust.” Rather than go through a trial, Lee and Evergreen Life both pled guilty. Evergreen pled to four charges and Lee to three. Needless to say, Evergreen Life honey products are no longer on the market, as they were removed from shelves in 2016 after a recall was issued.
Violating Public Trust
More than most other products, this violation goes very deep for honey consumers simply because of the wide array of uses for Manuka honey. Obviously, the honey itself is delicious, but a significant amount of Manuka honey buyers use this product for far more than just consumption. This is no doubt why Judge Paul took the matter so seriously and more or less maxed out the penalties handed out to both Lee and Evergreen Life.
This decision has also been handed down at a time when honest Manuka honey producers are trying very hard to fight labeling fraud that is quickly becoming a problem in the industry. True Manuka producers do not believe blended or low-grade honey should be able to say they are Manuka products. This is because the cost of real Manuka honey, especially UMF 16+ honey, can cost upwards of $5 an ounce, compared to fraudulent or low-grade honey that will cost about $1.50 per ounce.
Rest assured, when you are buying Manuka honey from Manuka Honey USA, you are getting authentic New Zealand Manuka honey you can trust! For more information about our products or to get an order started, click here. And, remember, we offer FREE shipping on all orders of $150 or more.
Source and Photo via: News Hub