Honey fraud causing a buzz in Europe as imports are mixed with syrup

By: Trademagazin editor Date: 2023. 03. 31. 09:49

According to European Commission investigations, 46% of collected samples of honey imports are suspected of being adulterated with syrups. This situation has been denounced by Copa and Cogeca, who insist it is high time for the EU to act on honey fraud.

Thanks to joint work by DG Sante, JRC and OLAF, the Commission has quantified an alarming reality: of the 320 samples received from competent national authorities, 147 (46%) were suspected of non-compliance with the requirements of the EU Honey Directive.

Almost 74% of the Chinese, 93% of the Turkish and 100% of the British honey samples were considered “suspicious.”

Commenting on the JRC’s report, Stanislav Jaš, the Copa and Cogeca Honey Working Party chairman, says the survey “clearly shows where problems come from.”

“If almost every second honey product imported into the EU is adulterated, 20% of all ‘honey’ consumed in the EU is adulterated. If we throw into the mix the fact that ‘fake honey’ is entering the EU at a cost as low as €1.5 (US$1.62) per kg from a relatively small number of countries, one can understand why we are going through a real agricultural disaster in the EU.”

One hundred percent of the British honey samples were considered “suspicious.”The second report by DG Sante contains important conclusions too. The EC “confirms that a significant part of honey imported from non-EU countries and placed on the EU market is suspected of not complying with the provisions of the EU Honey Directive but goes undetected.”

The report further outlines that “improved, harmonized and generally accepted analytical methods are still needed to increase the capability of official control laboratories to detect honey adulterated with sugar syrups.”

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