Pollen and honey fraud Pollen may become associated with food, the most obvious example being honey.

Pollen and honey fraud Pollen may become associated with food, the most obvious example being honey (Fig. 9.9 ). There is an active trade in the sale of mislabelled honey in the European Union, particularly since honey from China was banned in 2002 owing to concerns about the levels of antibiotics such as chloramphenicol that were being used by beekeepers to prevent diseases among their bees. Following the ban, it is alleged that Chinese honey was smuggled into India where it was repackaged and sold on. Suspicions have also been raised about how Singapore somehow raised its honey production

Pollen and honey fraud Pollen may become associated with food, the most obvious example being honey (Fig. 9.9 ). There is an active trade in the sale of mislabelled honey in the European Union, particularly since honey from China was banned in 2002 owing to concerns about the levels of antibiotics such as chloramphenicol that were being used by beekeepers to prevent diseases among their bees. Following the ban, it is alleged that Chinese honey was smuggled into India where it was repackaged and sold on. Suspicions have also been raised about how Singapore somehow raised its honey production from virtually zero to become the world s fourth largest honey exporter at exactly the same time that Chinese honey was banned. The problem of honey containing antibiotics is by no means confined to China and they have been found in honeys from many other countries as well. The EU ban on the import of Chinese honey has been rescinded but there are still concerns about mislabelling. The presence of pollen in honey can help identify its country of origin and, in the case of single fl ower honey, whether this is a true reflection of its composition. For example, in July 2004 a Northumbrian beekeeper was successfully prosecuted for marketing honey as being produced in the Scottish Borders when it actually originated in Argentina. There are therefore concerns about the production of ultra – filtered honey because although this treatment would remove contaminants such as antibiotics, it would also remove the pollen that facilitates the honey s identification. Because honey is marketed as a natural wholesome food there are concerns about it becoming accidentally contaminated with pollen from genetically modified (GM) crops and this will no doubt become a source of legal dispute as GM crops become widely grown.

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