Fake honey blended with cheap sugar syrup has been exposed in a new investigation by the European Commission which found 46% of sampled products were suspected to be fraudulent.
According to the report, all 10 honey samples from the UK all failed the tests. They may have been blended or packaged in Britain, but some of the honey inside “probably originated overseas”.
The government told The Guardian newspaper it was investigating the results, but there was no risk to food safety.
While the EU’s anti-fraud office (Olaf) said: “Such practices defraud consumers and put honest producers in jeopardy as they face unfair competition from operators who can slash prices thanks to illicit, cheap ingredients.”
The action was led by the European Commission’s directorate general for health and food safety.
Investigators tested 320 samples, including 10 from the UK, and found that in total 147 (46%) were suspicious, where “at least one marker of extraneous sugar sources was detected”.
The report went on to reveal that 10 honey samples from the UK had a suspicion rate of 100% and “this could be the result of honey produced in other countries and further processed in the UK”.
In 2022, the UK imported more than 38,000 tonnes of honey from China, where there is a known risk of adulteration with sugar syrup. Country of origin labelling is not required for a blended honey product from more than one country, so many shoppers don’t know a cheaper pot of honey probably contains Chinese honey as well.
This news story is just the latest in a series of honey fraud developments in recent years.
Sadly, because Manuka honey is one of the world’s most rare and powerful honeys, it too is often subject to blending, dilution, and worse, artificial contamination.
Which means that it’s vital you do you homework when shopping for Manuka to ensure you buy a genuine brand that’s harvested and packed in New Zealand.
At Manuka Doctor all our honey is guaranteed to be 100% Genuine Manuka.
That’s because we test every batch five times between the bee-keeper and final sale.
These tests cover everything from authenticity and purity to MGO-strength and artificial sugar, all ensuring your jar is 100% Genuine and contains the all-important compounds which make Manuka so special.
With every jar of Manuka Doctor honey harvested and packed in our state of the art facility in New Zealand, you can be sure that when the lid is screwed onto your jar, nobody opens it again until you do.
You can browse our range of Certified and Genuine Manuka honey here