In 2008, after many complaints from America beekeepers, officials imposed huge import duties on all honey from China. This made Chinese honey very expensive so it stopped imports of honey from China.
But did it really end there? Two large honey packers, including one of the nations biggest Groeb Farms of Onsted, Mich. have admitted to purchasing millions of dollars worth of honey that was falsely labeled.
A third or perhaps even more of all the honey sold in the U.S. comes from China illegally. It was also found to be tainted with illegal antibiotics and heavy metals. A Food Safety News investigation has documented that millions of pounds of honey banned as unsafe in dozens of countries are being imported and sold here in record quantities.
A recent study conducted by Food Safety News shows that 76% of honey on the shelves contains no pollen. Why would producers remove all the pollen? Honey laundering.
Experts interviewed by Food Safety News say some of the largest and most long-established U.S. honey packers are knowingly buying mislabeled, transshipped or possibly altered honey so they can sell it cheaper than those companies who demand safety, quality and rigorously inspected honey.
Its no secret that the honey smuggling is being driven by money, the desire to save a couple of pennies a pound, said Richard Adee, who is the Washington Legislative Chairman of the American Honey Producers Association.