Sweet, thick, golden, dripping honey. We’re told that it’s a healthy replacement for sugar, it soothes a sore throat, even helps calm a cough but many brands are contaminated. Yes, contaminated. Can consumers trust anything on store shelves anymore?
Imported honey has been found to contain heavy metals and animal antibiotics that could potentially make people sick, particularly children. Ingesting unnecessary and harmful antibiotics also builds antibiotic resistance. Much of the problematic honey is sourced out of China. Big surprise. They attempt to dodge high import taxes by shipping it to the U.S. through other countries such as India or mislabeling it, a practice known as ‘honey laundering.’
A study done by Food Safety News found that 76% of the honey sold in grocery stores and nearly 100% of the honey sold at big box chains did not contain any pollen. When pollen is removed from honey, not only does it lessen the health benefits but there is no way to trace where the honey actually came from so you can’t be certain it’s safe.
The FDA has done nothing about this issue despite the fact that public health groups, several members of congress and the honey industry have all requested that they put standards in place for over a decade. This is another area where Europe is ahead of the curve. Over the last 2 years, 27 European countries banned honey imported from Asian countries because of this problem.
In many cases, honey from China is also most likely diluted with high fructose corn syrup and rice syrup. How do you know your honey is pure? Buy USDA certified organic honey made in the USA. Go local if possible, but at the very least, make sure it is made in the USA.