Mass adulterated honey sold getting media attention

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Jon.21

House Bee
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Location
Derby, UK
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My mum just sent me this article from the newspaper. I was ignorant of this before I started bee keeping 2 years ago in fact I never really used to like honey as I had only tried the supermarket variety. Now me and my family love it and have really got stuck into trying different varieties - other than my own my favourite is bell heather.
My customers are ignorant of this disingenuous at best if not fraud as well and I’d say 99 percent are repeat buyers and have said they won’t buy supermarket honey anymore as they don’t trust it.
The common feedback is “ I thought legally they would have to declare it on the label - why does the government let this happen ?”
Let’s hope the government does the right thing to ensure the masses know what they are buying to allow them to make an informed decision because at the moment most people are being deceived.

https://www.theguardian.com/food/2023/mar/26/uk-honey-fails-authenticity-test?CMP=oth_b-aplnews_d-51679949824931.png
 
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There are multiple threads on this across multiple media and massive conclusions are being jumped to by lots of people, worst of all the journalists involved. There is very little, or even nil, adulteration of UK origin honey.

Also beware of HAN. They are a pressure organisation set up and funded by Latin American producers and their prime purpose is to counter how China has taken away THEIR market and to get it back......so you would find a lot of Mexican, Argentine, Uruguay etc honey coming back into your marketplaces that Chinese has displaced. Its a lot more to do with the bottom of the pond than the niche products at the top of the market you all work with.
 

There are a few things that interest me about that piece. First is the discussion of pricing. The level of hyperbole seems somewhat extreme, too.

But then in the list of honey products shown at the end we have Odysea Greek pine & fir tree honey which apparently "is also naturally lower in sugars than other supermarket brands". Elsewhere I found that it "is 29% naturally lower in sugar compared to other supermarket brands according to the results of “Action on Sugar” at Queen Mary’s University of London analysis". I struggle to imagine that "other supermarket brands" are going to have much more than 80% sugar, which suggests to me that it is perhaps only 57% sugars. So what's the remaining 23%? Or is this just a bit of "reinterpretation of the data" to give a more appealing result?

James
 
There are a few things that interest me about that piece. First is the discussion of pricing. The level of hyperbole seems somewhat extreme, too.

But then in the list of honey products shown at the end we have Odysea Greek pine & fir tree honey which apparently "is also naturally lower in sugars than other supermarket brands". Elsewhere I found that it "is 29% naturally lower in sugar compared to other supermarket brands according to the results of “Action on Sugar” at Queen Mary’s University of London analysis". I struggle to imagine that "other supermarket brands" are going to have much more than 80% sugar, which suggests to me that it is perhaps only 57% sugars. So what's the remaining 23%? Or is this just a bit of "reinterpretation of the data" to give a more appealing result?

James
I used to sell Greek pine 'honey' in the past..to some of the UK's top retailers.

Its a honeydew rather than a honey....some analytical methods do not include the sometimes very complex and unusual sugars found in it. They are still sugars...........but in the mangled words of McCoy in Star Treck........'They're sugars Jim, but not as WE know them.'

Its also drop dead delicious. Rich treacly flavour and good body.
 
I used to sell Greek pine 'honey' in the past..to some of the UK's top retailers.

Its a honeydew rather than a honey....some analytical methods do not include the sometimes very complex and unusual sugars found in it. They are still sugars...........but in the mangled words of McCoy in Star Treck........'They're sugars Jim, but not as WE know them.'

Its also drop dead delicious. Rich treacly flavour and good body.

Ahhh. Thank you for the explanation.

James
 
There are multiple threads on this across multiple media and massive conclusions are being jumped to by lots of people, worst of all the journalists involved. There is very little, or even nil, adulteration of UK origin honey.

Also beware of HAN. They are a pressure organisation set up and funded by Latin American producers and their prime purpose is to counter how China has taken away THEIR market and to get it back......so you would find a lot of Mexican, Argentine, Uruguay etc honey coming back into your marketplaces that Chinese has displaced. Its a lot more to do with the bottom of the pond than the niche products at the top of the market you all work with.

Whilst you are obviously well-qualified to say that about your own honey before it leaves your possession, this latest and some previous studies are analysing "honey" that has been commercially blended and packed and/or sold in this country and are finding adulteration; this is not an "attack" on UK produced honey
I would be interested to know more detail about the background and wider motives of HAN, but regardless of whether or not the group has the self-interest of specific honey-producing countries at its heart, the adulteration of honey is still a matter that our Gorvenment's food-safety department should not ignore.
 
This afternoon I had a long call with a member of the trade very familiar with this story from the inside. The article is not complete and would not be nearly so sensational if the full story was printed about the UK linked findings.

1. None of it involved honey that was UK honey or purported to be UK honey. So the psychos yelling that YOUR local honey is adulterated are completely wrong.
2. Apparently most if not all 10 of the UK samples were actually flagged as suspicious...more work needed.
3. Apparently, upon an audit of the supply chain, mass balancing etc and further testing, most if not all of the flagged products were cleared.

and it was not English/UK honey anyway.

You WILL understand I cannot name names.......that would end the open flow of info I get.
 
This afternoon I had a long call with a member of the trade very familiar with this story from the inside. The article is not complete and would not be nearly so sensational if the full story was printed about the UK linked findings.

1. None of it involved honey that was UK honey or purported to be UK honey. So the psychos yelling that YOUR local honey is adulterated are completely wrong.
2. Apparently most if not all 10 of the UK samples were actually flagged as suspicious...more work needed.
3. Apparently, upon an audit of the supply chain, mass balancing etc and further testing, most if not all of the flagged products were cleared.

and it was not English/UK honey anyway.

You WILL understand I cannot name names.......that would end the open flow of info I get.
The article I referenced was from the Daily Telegraph. It has apparently changed its editorial priorities from being sober and semi balanced ( not politically of course) to attempting to out do the Daily Mail - in my opinion of course.
Basically the standards of journalism have collapsed following the general fall in newspaper buyers and readers,
 
Basically the standards of journalism have collapsed following the general fall in newspaper buyers and readers,

Is there anyone under sixty who buys a national daily newspaper any more? I can't even remember the last time I saw a copy of The Sun discarded on the dash of a builder's van.

James
 
Be cause folk get their info from social media. It's probably just as accurate inaccurate
No NO NOOOO ... My 20 something yr old work colleagues assure me that anything and everything that comes from the internet, or any electronic device, or social media platform... is ABSOLUTELY true ...

Even to the point when one of them told me I was wrong and Libya was in West Africa as she had done a Google search and it had come up with the answer. I assured her that LIbya was NOT in West Africa although Liberia was .... and I'd been there. I don't think my foreign travels trumped Google though from the look on her face ....

If it's on the internet ... it HAS to be true ..
 
Is there anyone under sixty who buys a national daily newspaper any more? I can't even remember the last time I saw a copy of The Sun discarded on the dash of a builder's van.

James
Could be because are no longer capable of reading anything that isn't newspeak.
I cud b rong.
 
It's the Telegraph.
Daily Express for people that can do joined up writing.

That article is very clear in explaining the problem and does not implicate UK produced honey in the accusations of fakery. If anything, it does the opposite and quotes "a raw(?) honey producer in London" who says, "....any honey under £9, then, is “unlikely to be proper honey”.

The "English Honey" that they say is fake is honey can be bought from the UK after being blended and packaged here. Its origins, as stated on the label. are non-EU countries. I think they are hinting at the fact that as the UK is "non-EU", some consumer's minds might be sufficiently convoluted to fool themselves that the jars contain some UK-produced honey.

The campaigning to demand action by the Government on faked honey should not be seen as an attack on genuine, UK producers of honey. An activity that defrauds consumers, in an era where many people are becoming more aware of the need to be mindful of the constituents of our food and of its modes of manufacture and transportation, is just plain wrong.
 

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