Unsafe Honey

David Trammel's picture

Guess this is why you should only buy your honey from local beekeepers.

Tests Show Most Store Honey Isn't Honey

"More than three-fourths of the honey sold in U.S. grocery stores isn’t exactly what the bees produce, according to testing done exclusively for Food Safety News. The results show that the pollen frequently has been filtered out of products labeled “honey.” The removal of these microscopic particles from deep within a flower would make the nectar flunk the quality standards set by most of the world’s food safety agencies. In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration says that any product that’s been ultra-filtered and no longer contains pollen isn’t honey. However, the FDA isn’t checking honey sold here to see if it contains pollen."

Why filter out the pollen?

"Ultra filtering is a high-tech procedure where honey is heated, sometimes watered down and then forced at high pressure through extremely small filters to remove pollen, which is the only foolproof sign identifying the source of the honey. It is a spin-off of a technique refined by the Chinese, who have illegally dumped tons of their honey – some containing illegal antibiotics – on the U.S. market for years. The food safety divisions of the World Health Organization, the European Commission and dozens of others also have ruled that without pollen there is no way to determine whether the honey came from legitimate and safe sources.

Food Safety News decided to test honey sold in various outlets after its earlier investigation found U.S. groceries flooded with Indian honey banned in Europe as unsafe because of contamination with antibiotics, heavy metal and a total lack of pollen which prevented tracking its origin. Removal of all pollen from honey “makes no sense” and is completely contrary to marketing the highest quality product possible, Mark Jensen, president of the American Honey Producers Association, told Food Safety News.

“I don’t know of any U.S. producer that would want to do that. Elimination of all pollen can only be achieved by ultra-filtering and this filtration process does nothing but cost money and diminish the quality of the honey,” Jensen said. “There is only one reason to ultra-filter honey and there’s nothing good about it.”

The rest of the long article is very good and eye opening. Bottom line, buy your honey at local farmer's markets where you can be sure its fresh and out of the hive.

Blueberry's picture

If the honey is 51% from the USA can be sold as American honey. The other 49% can be honey or pure S*!$. I will only buy honey from local bee keepers ( must live within 25 miles 40KM of my place.) Most of what we buy is Gallberry or Wildflower.

David Trammel's picture

Yes, just 51%.

Seems like just about everything today has added "high fructose corn syrup" doesn't it?

ClareBroommaker's picture

To be a part of local honey production, you can offer your garden or yard for a beekeeper to place a hive or two. That is something you can do even if you are not yet actively gardening. The beekeeper will take care of it and I'm sure you could get at least a jar out of the deal. The very week we lost our little orchard (lease of public property) we had agreed to have a hive box placed there. Whenever we are able to start a new orchard, we will do the same.