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Deluge of Honey Banned in Europe is Hitting U.S. Grocery Stores

by Barbara Minton
See all TBYIL articles by Barbara Minton

(The Best Years in Life) The ongoing destruction of bees with neonicotinoid pesticides is causing a lack of bee products and compelling sellers of honey to look elsewhere for a supply. The result is that now more than a third of all honey being sold in the U.S. has been smuggled in from China and may contain illegal antibiotics and heavy metals.

According to a Food Safety News investigation, record amounts of honey banned in many other countries as unsafe are being sold in the U.S. by the greedy. As usual, the FDA is failing to do anything to protect consumers, and has come out saying this honey is safe.

Some of the largest and well established distributors in the U.S. are aware that the honey they are buying has been transferred from one ship to another or to other forms of transport to escape detection of origin as it makes its way into the country. Such honey can be sold at lower prices than honey that has not been adulterated, thereby undercutting prices typical for companies adhering to high standards.

It’s no secret that the honey smuggling is being driven by money, the desire to save a couple of pennies a pound,” said Richard Adee, Chairman of the American Honey Producers Association to Food Safety News. “These big packers are still using imported honey of uncertain safety that they know is illegal because they know their chances of getting caught are slim.”

India has been another source of unsafe honey, but the EU stopped accepting their shipments after discovering they contained lead and illegal animal antibiotics, and purveyors were unable to prove the honey didn’t come from China. Investigators there found honey being synthesized from artificial sweeteners and processed to remove proof of adulteration and origin. In this case, no bees were involved in the product at all.

America’s oldest and largest packer and seller of honey is Sue Bee, a company with the corporate slogan ‘Sue Bee is America’s Honey!’ When this company was contacted by Food Safety News and asked to respond to the question of where it gets its honey, it refused to cooperate.

One of the problems in the U.S. is that the FDA checks only a very small portion of shipments coming into ports each year. During the period between January and June of this year, only 24 honey shipments were refused entry into the country, compared to the almost 43 million pounds of honey that gained entry. Of that number, according to the Department of Commerce, 37.7 million pounds came from India. This is the honey from India that was banned in the EU.

There are still millions of pounds of transshipped Chinese honey coming into the U.S. and they are all coming now from India and Vietnam and everybody in the industry knows that,” said Elise Gagnon, president of a worldwide trading establishment specializing in bulk raw honey.


What we are losing when we lose our bees

Honey is a healing superfood with a long list of health benefits that are now being jeopardized with the influx of tainted product. Since there is not a way to determine whether the honey you are buying is safe of not, the choice becomes either accepting illegal antibiotics and heavy metals in the honey you buy, or not buying honey at all and losing its many benefits.

What are its many benefits? Among them are:

  • Reduces allergic response

  • Suppresses coughing

  • Boosts memory

  • Helps you fall asleep and stay asleep

  • Treats dandruff

  • Functions as a natural energy drink

  • Treats serious wounds and burns

  • Boosts immunity

  • Fights antibiotic resistant bacteria

And that is just the beginning. Researchers are adding to the list of benefits at a record rate. Here are some of the latest findings.

*Honey can be a great friend to any woman undergoing hormone depletion therapy for breast cancer with tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors because it can alleviate symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats, says a team of scientists from Germany.

*In Korea researchers have discovered that consuming honey can prevent moderate and severe mucositis, the painful inflammation and ulceration of the mucous membranes lining the digestive tract, usually as an adverse effect of chemotherapy and radiology treatment for cancer.

*Diet choices play a big role in instituting apoptosis, the programmed death of cells. When cells do not die on time, they can become dangerous. Various researchers have been experimenting with honey against different cancers and have provided insights about the apoptosis mechanism and how it can be enhanced by honey. They have found anti-tumor activity from honey in animal models, and are calling for clinical trials as well as experiments which would further add to the knowledge base.

Bees have been revered by almost every culture since the beginning of time. They have long been a friend of humanity. After all this time can we stand by and continue to allow them to be senselessly killed? Are we really willing to forget there was ever real honey on earth and to settle instead for a concoction made from artificial sugar that will harm health rather than enhance it?

See also:

The Health and Healing Benefits of Raw Honey

80% of the Packaged Food Items on Our Grocers Shelves Contain Ingredients Banned in Other Countries

Save the Bees - 10 Reasons Why You Must Support the World Bee Population

For more information:

About the Author:

Barbara is a school psychologist and the author of Dividend Capture, a book on personal finance. She is a breast cancer survivor using bioidentical hormone therapy, and a passionate advocate of natural health with hundreds of articles on many aspects of health and wellness. She is the editor and publisher of AlignLife's Health Secrets Newsletter.

See other articles by the Barbara Minton here:

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