Just because the label says "Honey" doesn't mean a bee would eat it

According to the honey industry, China is dumping tons of stuff in the United States that a bee wouldn't recognize.

Just because it says “honey” on the label doesn’t mean that a bee would have anything to do with it.

Today’s grocery shelves are full of imported honey that is little more than sugar gel – and lacks many of the key elements of what makes honey the stuff that honeybees thrive on.

For years, honey has been believed to provide nature’s own immunotherapy. In normal immunotherapy, the allergic person is exposed to minute amount of the allergy-causing protein, usually in the form of an injection. The idea is that if a person is allergic to pollen, then some of the allergy-causing proteins will be in the honey.

If you eat local, raw honey everyday, you expose yourself to a small amount of the local pollens and this is supposed to sensitize you to that pollen’s proteins.

However, imported honey – such as from China or India– has no local pollen. And according to a recent study, often imported honey has no pollen at all – and may be packed with pollutants and antibiotics.

In other words, all the good stuff has been filtered out, leaving only bad stuff plus sugar.


Texas A&M Universityprofessor Vaughn Bryant is the nation’s premier melissopalynologist – someone who studies sweet pollens. Food and Safety News asked him to look into reports that commercial honey manufacturers are taking all of the pollen out of their honey.

“Once you take the pollen out, you don’t know two things: The first thing you do not know is where the honey was produced, and the

second thing you do not know is exactly what flowers the bees were utilizing in order to produce the honey,” Bryant told them.

“That would make it easier forChinato dump honey into the United Statesmarket,” reports Bruce Gellerman for Public Radio International. “There’s supposed to be a large tariff on Chinese honey to discourage dumping, but they’ve tried to work around that by exporting the honey to other markets, which then send it onto theUnited States.

“The American Beekeeping Federation and the National Honey Board and others have consistently requested the federal government to enforce some kind of a truth-in-the-labeling,” Bryant said. “But the federal government has been dragging their feet for years.”

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Rob Kerby
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