USDA Cracks Down on Honey Laundering
Sunday, January 16, 2011
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is continuing its pursuit of illegal, and sometimes dangerous, imports of foreign honey into the United States.
After the government in 2002 imposed a tariff on honey imported from China, the world’s largest producer of the product, Chinese businesses began using third-party countries to launder honey into the U.S. On August 31, 2010, a federal grand jury indicted five companies and eleven individuals for trying to pass off Chinese honey as coming from Russia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand
In some cases, Chinese-produced honey was found to contain the antibiotic chloramphenicol, which can cause serious health problems. Other contaminants have included traces of pesticides or industrial pollutants.
The USDA is now attempting to adopt a new federal regulation requiring any imported honey sold in the U.S. to contain a country-of-origin label.
Honey Laundering May Mask Dangerous Contaminants (by Jaelithe Judy, Care 2)
Country of Origin Labeling of Packed Honey (U.S. Department of Agriculture)
China Accused of Smuggling Honey into U.S. (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)
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