Most of the honey sold in U.S. grocery stores isn’t exactly honey. According to investigation by Food Safety News, today’s mass produced honey is often times void of real pollen, artificially processed and laundered from China. Honey void of pollen is a disgusting, watered-down scam.
Ultra filtering is a high-tech procedure where honey is heated, sometimes watered down and then forced at high pressure through extremely small filters to remove pollen, which is the only foolproof sign identifying the source of the honey. It is a spin-off of a technique refined by the Chinese, who have illegally dumped tons of their honey – some containing illegal antibiotics – on the U.S. market for years.
Food Safety News decided to test honey sold in various outlets after its earlier investigation found U.S. groceries flooded with Indian honey banned in Europe as unsafe because of contamination with antibiotics, heavy metal and a total lack of pollen which prevented tracking its origin.
Food Safety News purchased more than 60 jars, jugs and plastic bears of honey in 10 states and the District of Columbia.
The contents were analyzed for pollen by Vaughn Bryant, a professor at Texas A&M University and one of the nation’s premier melissopalynologists, or investigators of pollen in honey.
Bryant, who is director of the Palynology Research Laboratory, found that among the containers of honey provided by Food Safety News:
- 76 percent of the samples from grocery stores had all pollen removed.
- 100 percent of honey from pharmacies had all pollen removed.
- 77 percent of the honey from big box stores had all pollen removed.
- 100 percent of the individual honey packets from restaurants like McDonald’s and KFC had the pollen removed.
- Yet 100 percent of the samples Food Safety News bought from farmer’s markets, coops and natural grocery stores had the full, anticipated amount of honey.
And if you have to buy at major grocery chains, the analysis found that your odds are somewhat better of getting honey that wasn’t ultra-filtered if you buy brands labeled as organic. Out of seven samples tested, five (71 percent) were heavy with pollen. All of the organic honey was produced in Brazil, according to the labels.
The National Honey Board, a federal research and promotion organization under USDA oversight, says the bulk of foreign honey (at least 60 percent or more) is sold to the food industry for use in baked goods, beverages, sauces and processed foods. Food Safety News did not examine these products for this story.
Most honey packers are worried about what is being imported and what they are pumping into their plastic bears. Much of the honey sold in the US is imported from Asian countries. Two hundred and eight million pounds of honey have been imported over the past 18 months; 60 percent of that comes from Asian countries that typically launder honey illegally for China.
Ernie Groeb, the president and CEO of Groeb Farms Inc., which calls itself “the world’s largest packer of honey,” says he makes no specific requirement to the pollen content of the 85 million pounds of honey his company buys.
Groeb sells retail under the Miller’s brand and says he buys 100 percent pure honey, but does not “specify nor do we require that the pollen be left in or be removed.”
He says that there are many different filtering methods used by beekeepers and honey packers.
“We buy basically what’s considered raw honey. We trust good suppliers. That’s what we rely on,” said Groeb, whose headquarters is in Onsted, Mich.
Good question! When asked why the pollen is removed, Mark Jensen, president of the American Honey Producers Association said this:
“I don’t know of any U.S. producer that would want to do that. Elimination of all pollen can only be achieved by ultra-filtering and this filtration process does nothing but cost money and diminish the quality of the honey,” Jensen said.
“In my judgment, it is pretty safe to assume that any ultra-filtered honey on store shelves is Chinese honey and it’s even safer to assume that it entered the country uninspected and in violation of federal law,” he added.
This idea is confirmed by Richard Adee, a U.S. honey producer who keeps 80,000 hives. He said:
“There is only one reason to ultra-filter honey and there’s nothing good about it. It’s no secret to anyone in the business that the only reason all the pollen is filtered out is to hide where it initially came from and the fact is that in almost all cases, that is China.”
Article originally published on LivingTraditionally.com republished with permission