Great investigative reporting on Asian honey, flooding the market in the U.S.
The stuff is banned in Europe, because of the considerable amount of contaminants (lead, pesticides, etc!) in the honey.
“- Almost 60 percent of what was imported – 123 million pounds – came from Asian countries – traditional laundering points for Chinese honey. This included 45 million pounds from India alone.”
There are all sorts of reasons to be skeptical of Chinese honey, and the article explains them in quite good detail. Here’s an excerpt:
“The Chinese have many state-of-the-art processing plants but their beekeepers don’t have the sophistication to match. There are tens of thousands of tiny operators spread from the Yangtze River and coastal Guangdong and Changbai to deep inland Qinghai province. The lead contamination in some honey has been attributed to these mom-and-pop vendors who use small, unlined, lead-soldered drums to collect and store the honey before it is collected by the brokers for processing.
The amount of chloramphenicol found in honey is miniscule. Nevertheless, public health experts say it can cause a severe, even fatal reaction — aplastic anemia — in about one out of 30,000 people.
European health authorities found lead in honey bought from India in early 2010. A year later, the Indian Export Inspection Council tested 362 samples of honey being exported and reported finding lead and at least two antibiotics in almost 23 percent of the test samples.
The discovery of lead in the honey presents a more serious health threat.”
Yet another reason to buy local honey, from people you trust.