January 26, 2009

U.S. honey producers question imports

U.S. honey producers say contaminated honey is being imported into the United States.

A Seattle Post-Intelligencer investigation found two-thirds of honey consumed in the United States is imported, with half of that amount coming from China.

If we buy Chinese honey, as we do far too often, we know it may contain chloramphenicol or some other antibiotic that is illegal in any food product, National Honey Board member Mark Brady told the newspaper.

The newspaper's investigation found that tons of Chinese honey being brought into the United States is tainted with banned antibiotics.

Kenneth Haff, president of American Honey Producers, said food companies need to alert the U.S Food and Drug Administration when they find a tainted shipment, rather than just returning the honey to the importer.

We run the risk of the importer trying to resell this same adulterated honey for a cheaper price somewhere else, Haff told the newspaper.