US Honey Companies Admit To ‘Laundering’ Chinese Honey

Two of America’s largest honey distributors admitted to “laundering” Chinese honey, by buying falsely labeled honey from China to circumvent import laws. Oh goodness, this is like a horse meat scandal, but with bees!

NPR reports that two weeks ago, Groeb Farms and Honey Holding admitted to buying millions of dollars worth of mislabeled Chinese honey for a very, very low price. As NPR explains:

Chinese honey is subject to steep “anti-dumping” duties that the U.S. imposed back in 2008, after U.S. honey producers complained that Chinese exporters were selling their honey at artificially low prices.

Chinese exporters, however, began sending their honey to middlemen in countries like Indonesia and Vietnam, who then re-labeled it as local product and sent it on to the U.S.

In another tactic, Chinese exporters labeled containers of honey as something else, such as rice syrup.

The companies have agreed to set up programs to ensure that all their honey is properly labeled and ethically obtained, in exchange for not being prosecuted. We’d write a few bee puns, but then the buzz of this story would lose its sting. (Gotcha.)

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