Scam alert: Hi honey, I’m cheating

THERE'S no cheating with true honey, according to Gympie beekeeper and natural honey enthusiast Athol Craig.

But some of the adulterated products recently found to have been imported into Australia are anything but faithful, he says.

Mr Craig was commenting on the recent prosecution of one importer after a product, labelled "Victoria Honey" was found to contain almost anything but honey.

And it did not come from Victoria.

Mr Craig's Ipswich colleague, Australian Honey Bee Industry Council executive director Trevor Weatherhead, said independent analysis had found the product was "C-4 sugar, most likely corn syrup, imported from Turkey and flavoured artificially".

The importer, Basfoods Australia, has now been fined $30,600 for selling Turkish syrup made from corn and sugar cane and marketing it as honey.

NATURE’S GOLD: Athol Craig says there is no substitute for purity.
NATURE’S GOLD: Athol Craig says there is no substitute for purity. Renee Pilcher


Federal agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce said the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ruling was a win for consumers and local honey producers, who would no longer have to compete with misleadingly labelled and illegally sold products.

"We've got complaints under investigation against another five," Mr Weatherhead told The Gympie Times yesterday.

"There was one in a Gold Coast shop that was from Italy and was 9% honey and another one was 62% C-4 sugar from Serbia," Mr Weatherhead said.

"Another, called Bee Bear, was called honey and syrup, but with 65% syrup it should have been called syrup and honey.

"One called Hi Honey had a map of Australia on its label, came from Turkey and is 100% C-4 sugar, most likely corn syrup.

"There was 184 tonnes of Victoria Honey sold in Australia, so if they made $1 a kilo profit, they would still have had $150,000 left after paying the fine."

"It becomes small change for some of them," Mr Craig agreed.

"I haven't seen any (of these counterfeit products) in our local area.

"If it's labelled as corn syrup and marketed as syrup, people would have no objection.

"But to call it honey is just not on, because honey is a product made by bees, he said.

"Honey is a food with complex pollens containing a range of minerals and protein.

"And the minerals are in about the same proportions as in the human body.

"That's natural honey, pure honey and not filtered to make it clear, because it's the pollen that makes it cloudy.

"We're lucky to live in a prime honey producing region.

"That's natural honey," he said.

Topics:  barnaby joyce beekeeper bees fraud honey

Gympie Times