Local politics, the county, and the world, as viewed by Tammy Maygra
Tammy’s views are her own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bill Eagle, his pastor, Tammy’s neighbors, Wayne Mayo, Betsy Johnson, Joe Corsiglia, President Trump, Henry Heimuller, VP Pence, Pat Robertson, Debi Corsiglia’s dog, or Claudia Eagle’s Cats. This Tammy’s Take (with the exception of this disclaimer) is not paid for or written by, or even reviewed by anyone but Tammy and she refuses to be bullied by anyone.
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Fake Honey, Impure Honey, What You Don’t Know About Your Honey.
More than three-fourths of the honey sold in U.S. grocery stores is not what the bees create. The pollen frequently has been filtered out of products labeled “honey.” The removal of these microscopic particles from deep within a flower would make the nectar flunk the quality standards set by most of the world’s food safety agencies. The food safety divisions of the World Health Organization, the European Commission and dozens of other have ruled that without pollen there is no way to determine whether the honey came from legitimate and safe sources. In other words it is their DNA footprint.
In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration says that any product that’s been ultra-filtered and no longer contains pollen isn’t honey. 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. And the process allows the Chinese to export tons of product.
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 bought at farmers markets, co-ops and “natural” stores like PCC and Trader Joe’s had the full, anticipated, amount of pollen.
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. Ultra- filtered honey does nothing but cost money and reduce the quality of honey. Honey has been treasured for centuries for its wonderful flavor, nutritional value, and healing abilities and that is precisely what is completely removed by the ultra-filtration process.
The ultra - filtering process is used to hide where the honey comes from and that is laundered honey from China. China likes to export tainted products to the US and Europe on many products. Everything from tainted milk, dog food, crayons, to name just a few items. India and Vietnam are also villains in selling bad honey as they are the pass through countries for China. The honey market is a market worth billions and in order to maintain the billion dollar market these countries implement these illegal, health dangerous procedures in order to keep their fortunes flowing.
Chinese honey has long had a poor reputation in the U.S. in 2001 the Federal Trade Commission imposed stiff import tariffs or taxes to stop the Chinese from flooding the marketplace with dirt-cheap, heavily subsidized honey, which was forcing American beekeepers out of business.
To avoid the dumping tariffs, the Chinese quickly began transshipping honey to several other countries, then laundering it by switching the color of the shipping drums, the documents and labels to indicate a bogus but tariff-free country of origin for the honey. And people believe China is a good trading partner.
The FDA either because of lack of interest or resources has devoted little effort to inspecting imported honey. Nevertheless, the agency had occasionally either been told of, or had stumbled upon, Chinese honey contaminated with chloramphenicol and other illegal animal antibiotics which are dangerous, even fatal, to a percentage of the population. Allowing tainted honey on US shelves is criminal to say the least.
In one instance 10 years ago, contaminated Chinese honey was shipped to Canada and then on to a warehouse in Houston where it was sold to jelly maker J.M. Smuckers and the national baker Sara Lee.
By the time the FDA realized the Chinese honey was tainted, Smuckers had sold 12,040 cases of individually packed honey to Ritz-Carlton Hotels and Sara Lee said it may have been used in a half-million loaves of bread that were on store shelves. Where these products pulled from consumer shelves the answer was simply no.
Eventually, some honey packers in the U.S. became worried about what they were pumping into the plastic bears and jars they were selling. They began using in-house or private labs to test for honey diluted with inexpensive high fructose corn syrup or 13 other illegal sweeteners or for the presence of illegal antibiotics. But even the most sophisticated of these tests would not pinpoint the geographic source of the honey. Food scientists and honey specialists say pollen is the only foolproof fingerprint to a honey’s source.
The U.S. imported 208 million pounds of honey over the past 18 months. Almost 60 percent came from Asian countries – traditional laundering points for Chinese honey. This included 45 million pounds from India alone. The big grocery chains were no help in identifying the sources of the honey they package in their store brands.
Investigating sources reported that of nine samples that came back as ultra-filtered from QFC, Fred Meyer and King Sooper, the various customer service numbers all led to representatives of Kroger, which owns them all. The replies were identical: “We can’t release that information. It is proprietary.” I disagree when it comes to the health of Americans and to the health of American businesses there should be no proprietary issues which hold back important information. Besides the information could possibly mean that this chain was selling illegal honey.
Why should you care if your honey has had its pollen removed? It’s simple really, “Stomach ailments, anemia and allergies are just a few of the conditions that may be improved by consumption of unprocessed honey as raw honey has been used for centuries as medicine. Pollen’s reported enzymes, antioxidants and well documented anti-allergenic benefits are beneficial to people. Now more than ever, people want to eat healthy products and not products with pesticides or antibiotics. People are becoming aware of what they have been eating and are tired of greedy companies tainting their food with unhealthy and often deadly things all for huge profits.
Concocting a sweet-tasting syrup out of cane, corn or beet sugar, rice syrup or any of more than a dozen sweetening agents is a great deal easier, quicker and far less expensive than dealing with the natural brew of bees. And who benefits from this greedy corporations and the Chinese Government.
It is time the US makes into law a guideline for honey and enforces laws to protect consumers from poison imported honey. This would also protect US bee keepers and US honey companies who cannot compete with the fake honey being allowed to be imported in to the US.
Even though the demand of honey has jumped because of population increases, and even though it takes longer for bees to make the real thing. It is important to make regulations to protect consumers. But more importantly we all need to protect bees.
The loss of bee colonies has dramatically risen over the last decade, experts blame the fact that there are more corporate farms which has planted food crops destroying meadows of natural flowers which the bees need to make honey for their own food, the increased usage of pesticides, herbicides have killed the bees or and their food supplies. Everyone one of us needs to plant flowers which bees feed off of in our yards and gardens. Humans need to stop using these murderous pesticides and herbicides as they are not only killing bees, but other species as well in including humans.
I hope you think about the toxins that are in your honey now, and only purchase honey from local bee keepers. Keep it local know what you are eating and support the small farmers. I suggest a bee hive in every yard. You don’t have to collect honey just have the bees and let them do their natural thing. We have three hives ourselves, and oh the honey is so tasty! And our garden and orchard thrives.