End Importation of Tainted Honey


Target: Stephen Ostroff, Acting Commissioner FDA

Goal: Ensure only pure honey is sold in the U.S.

Hundreds of millions of pounds of honey are imported to the United States each year. Unfortunately, current standards do not do enough to protect U.S. consumers from poisoned, tainted, or fake honey. A stiff tariff was imposed on honey imported from China, which all but eliminated honey from that country. Instead, China ships it to India, Vietnam, and other similar countries where the country of origin is relabeled so it no longer appears to be from China.

At least one-third of honey in the U.S. is shipped in this manner and likely contains antibiotics and heavy metals such as lead. More than 75 percent of honey on grocery store shelves contains no pollen, which is the “active ingredient” in honey. Pollen not only proves that it was made by bees, but it also provides healing properties. Honey without pollen is untraceable and likely made from sugar or other sweeteners and thus, by definition, isn’t actually honey at all.

This “honey” has been banned in Europe, but current checks in the U.S. are quite limited. In a six-month period, only 24 shipments were prevented from entering the U.S. and the FDA refused to indicate how many shipments were actually checked and by whom. Checks need to be far more frequent and stringent. American beekeepers can’t keep up with the demand for their product, so while the U.S. does need imported honey, it does not need poisoned, tainted, or fake product on grocery store shelves.

Sign the petition below and demand only pure, healthful honey be sold in the United States.


Dear Mr. Ostroff,

The current standards for ensuring only safe, pure honey is imported to America do not do enough to protect consumers. At least one-third of the honey currently entering the food supply comes from China via India and Vietnam. This imported honey is relabeled to obscure the country of origin and likely contains antibiotics and heavy metals such as lead. What’s more, 75 percent of honey currently on grocery store shelves contains no pollen, which is a key ingredient in pure honey. This fake honey may be cheaper for consumers, but contains none of the nutritional or health properties of real honey.

These tainted and fake “honey” products have already been banned in Europe. Instead, America has become a dumping ground for products that should be unsaleable. The U.S. needs stronger controls, more checks of imports and greater transparency of these processes with imported honey.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Hashoo Foundation

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One Comment

  1. apple honey not bee honey!

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