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Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Contaminated honey from China is causing concern.

US officials crack down on Chinese 'honey laundering'
article in the Telegraph


"The US Food and Drug Administration is cracking down on honey launderers amid fears that dangerously contaminated honey could slip into the US market and harm consumers. Efforts to tackle honey laundering have also been launched in Russian, India and Australia.

The Post-Intelligencer claims, however, that US inspections of honey imports remain rare and federal officials have yet to adopt a legal definition of honey which makes it hard to keep substandard honey from being sold.

The concern about Chinese honey stems from the use of a toxic antibiotic to fight a contagious bacterial epidemic that raged through hives across China in 1997. The outbreak reduced the country's honey production by two thirds.

The drug, chloramphenicol, has been banned from all food products by the FDA. The administration says tainted honey from China is at the top of its watch list and has issued three "import alerts" to port and border inspectors about tainted Chinese honey.

Officials have also found other antibiotics in Chinese honey and blends of honey syrup and recently warned that corn or cane sugar could also be tainted with bad honey."

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