Don’t buy Chinese honey: It’s basically sugar water



‘Honey laundering’ crackdown after deluge of watered-down jars from China

Bloc of 20 EU countries pushing Brussels to tighten labelling rules after study found sugar syrups had been used to imitate authentic honey

By Joe Barnes, BRUSSELS CORRESPONDENT 21 April 2023 • 5:50pm

European Union countries are pushing for a crackdown on “honey laundering” as the bloc’s market is being flooded with cheap, syrup-laced honey from China.

Slovenia is leading a bloc of 20 national capitals urging Brussels to tighten its rules on products that can be labelled as honey after it was found that half of the honey sampled in a recent survey breached the bloc’s rules.

The study commissioned by the European Commission discovered ingredients such as sugar syrups, food colourings and water had been used to imitate more authentic honey.

“It’s basically sugar water,” an EU official told the Financial Times.

Four in five jars of honey sold in European supermarkets are blends of various ingredients, produced both in and outside the bloc.

The Slovenian’s proposal would ensure labelling would indicate the country of origin of the blends in question.

The Commission assessed some 123 companies that were suspected of exporting sugar laced with syrups into the EU.

Of those exporters, 70 were found to have missold honey into the bloc, with 21 of them coming from China. Ukraine was the second largest exporter of adulterated honey.


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