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Honey laundering trails all lead to China

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  • Honey, due to foreign imports, is one of the most tainted foods in America, and China has a sticky finger in almost every pot. The fix is in and China has essentially set up a network of honey chop shops to the tune of billions in profit.

Texas A&M’s Vaughn Bryant, the U.S. guru of pollen detection, studied 60 honey samples from major retailers across 10 different states in 2011. Bryant’s findings showed that three-quarters of the honey samples had undergone the ultra-filtration process.

Despite a mountain of evidence of complicity, China’s Asian pipeline partners deny the undeniable. India has doubled down, and with angelic insistence, claims it has merely ramped up domestic honey production — a “cat that ate the canary” approach.

The FDA has often appeared hapless and about three steps behind the Chinese shell game. With billions of dollars at stake, the Chinese pipeline will continue flooding the U.S. market with tainted honey in 2013. Cracking down on the Chinese laundering sites overseas is a cat-and-mouse affair, but the exit points of the pipeline in the U.S. can be shut down. In 2006, the U.S. government went after the Alfred L. Wolff (ALW) company for illegal honey imports; ALW is a major food corporation headquartered in Germany. Regarding ALW, OPEN magazine reported that: “According to a 44-count indictment of the firm, over 2004-06, it laundered over 2 million pounds — 900 tonnes — of Chinese honey through India, evading nearly $80 million in duties.”

Eighty million dollars in a three-year span — a sobering number. The U.S. honey industry is in genuine crisis and the U.S. government should go after more companies like ALW. There are a dozen or so major conglomerates importing honey into the U.S. market. Which ones are on the Chinese pipeline?

Twitter: @CBennett71

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Honey laundering trails all lead to China

Discuss this Blog Entry 6

John Dangereaux (not verified)
on Jan 8, 2013

The government does or doesn't (as in this case) do things that will raise the price of food. Those in charge are happy for this, food prices are kept down. The Bee industry is sacrificed for the "greater good" in my opinion.
The Chinese are to blame for sure. But haven't we learned the Chinese are ruthless and can't be trusted?!?
This is the fault of A:Government Officials top to bottom and B:a Broke and Stupid US consumer(which has been caused by "A"!!!)
'Reset' time, people!

ZeroSum2 (not verified)
on Jan 8, 2013

John, you may be right - but unless the government does intervene in cases like this, the Chinese will continue to do their smoke and mirrors operations. Ultimately, it is both the American producers and the American consumers who suffer.

Cam (not verified)
on Jan 8, 2013

By American and tell your grocery store to get the crap off the shelf! Buying local honey may be one way to guarantee its U.S. honey.

on Jan 9, 2013

Orange blossoms honey can replace Chinese "syrup." Stop seedless business kicking bees from collecting citrus honey. Then beekeepers in California will fill shelves with honey with better taste and quality and customers will make choice.

on Apr 12, 2013

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on May 14, 2013

Food watchdogs have ordered all Chinese-produced honey to be withdrawn from sale after trials found that much of it is contaminated by antibiotics.
Forty per cent of the honey sold in the US comes from China. Tests of 16 pots found that ten contained the powerful antibiotic chloramphenicol.
The chemical is a trigger for aplastic anaemia, a rare but serious blood disorder which affects up to 100 people in Britain each year. It has also been linked to leukaemia.

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