According to this article in Western Farm Press, the Chinese have been exporting a lot of honey to the United States and that “the laundered Chinese honey often contains harmful antibiotics, lead, molasses, fructose, farm chemicals…”
That last part caught my attention. I often offer ants a mixture of honey-water if I need to hold them for a few days or if I want them to hold still for a photograph. Even though the article is a bit, er, flamboyant, perhaps it is time to evaluate the source of the honey I purchase more carefully.
Unfortunately, just because the bottle says “Made in the USA” there is evidence that at least some of the honey may be from imported sources. Natural honey contains bits of pollen and investigators realized that by identifying sources of the pollen in a given batch of honey they could identify the area of origin of the honey. The smugglers quickly began filtering the honey to remove any traces of pollen. Now investigators look for the amount of pollen in samples of honey and if they don’t find any pollen, it is a good chance the honey came from a filtered foreign source. This article at CNN names stores that were tested and the results.
Although steps are probably being taken to remedy the situation, it seems like it is a good time to establish a relationship with your local beekeepers.
The original report:
Asian Honey, Banned in Europe, Is Flooding U.S. Grocery Shelves at Food Safety News