Argentine Beekeepers' Magazine


October 24th, 2022

Versión en Castellano

(Espacio Apícola, October 24th, 2022) After several months without news in the adulterated honey import alerts, published by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), honey shipments were interdicted on October 10 owned by a Mexican company.

These alerts for adulterated honey imply the detention of all the shipments of the intervened companies, without physical examination.

The previous event was published on June 14 adding a Yemeni company on this red list for the same reason: "The article is subject to refusal under 801(a)(3), in that it appears that a substance has been substituted wholly or in part for one or more of the article's ingredients." [Adulteration, Section 402(b)(2)].

In the second half of last year, after the implementation of the new honey standard and apparently after the implementation of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) as a method of domestic and border control in the United States, there were several interventions of this type by the FDA. One of these companies was from Argentina but in less than three months it was removed from the red list because it was shown that it was not an adulteration but an analytical error that did not identify the sorghum honeydew.

It is to be hoped that this Mexican company will place sufficient documentation to refute this suspicion to be removed from the red list in few months. We have tried to contact those responsible to ask them what the problem could have been, but they didn't answer us. According to FAO, Mexico is a country that exports an average of 30,000 tons of honey per year, practically does not import honey and only one Mexican exporting company (which probably no longer exists) has been on the FDA red list since 2018.

The landscape for companies in Yemen is significantly different. According to the FAO, Yemen imports and exports around 1,000 tons of honey a year and the four companies interdicted last year by the FDA, and which remain on the red list, are now joined by one more.

At the 47th Apimondia Congress held in Istanbul last August, it was announced that the use of NMR was not sufficient to determine adulterations and that a criterion should be formed, incorporating other analytical techniques already in use. The truth is that the sum of the cost of so many expensive analyzes has a significant impact on the market.

At the same time, at the same congress, Mr Etienne Bruneau, President of the Technology and Quality Commission of Apimondia, showed how Ukraine's honey exports had recently skyrocketed and in a treacherous way over honey production itself.

Due to the above, the possibility of implementing export quotas for each country was discussed in the corridors of the congress according to the evolution of its beekeeping activity, its records and international production statistics, its consumption and export history, such as those published regularly by FAO. This as a possible strategy to moderate the massive appearance of adulterated products sold as honey or re export honeys from other countries as their own.

Information generated by "Espacio Apícola" the Argentine Beekeepers' Magazine


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