Here’s an interesting article that is creepy, but no surprise to beekeepers. It seems that a German food conglomerate was trans-shipping honey to avoid $180 million in tariffs. People got sent to jail over it, because they got caught, but this is not an isolated case. For those of you that haven’t heard about this problem yet, here’s the rundown:
Chinese honey is exceedingly cheap, in part because of the normal Chinese business issues like price fixing/ cheap labor/ human rights issues. It’s also dangerous by US standards, because it is diluted with unspecified adulterants, processed with food service equipment that contains lead, and is treated with antibiotics that are banned here. As such, it’s prohibited and/or heavily taxed as an import good. However, some clever folks figured out that if it’s sold to intermediary countries like Indonesia and Thailand, repackaged, and THEN shipped to the US, customs can usually be fooled… and the honey makes its way onto your table and into your bread and Honey Nut Cheerios. But not this time; apparently Homeland Security got involved, and busted some Germans that thought they could get away with it… by only talking about it in German! Hah. I love it.