January 16, 2018

FDA Publishes Guidance Document for Honey Labeling

The FDA is cracking down on honey labeling, issuing a guidance document that will require companies to label honey that is not 100% honey as “blend of sugar and honey” or “blend of honey and corn syrup”. The American Beekeeping Federation and other honey associations have been advocating for this change for years. That organization submitted a citizen petition in 2006 asking that the FDA adopt a U.S. standard of identify for honey.

HoneyOften products that are labeled as “honey” contain other sweeteners, which some believe is food fraud. Honey is made of glucose and fructose, along with minerals such as iron, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Honey has antiseptic an antibacterial properties and is a natural anti-inflammatory, while sugar is considered inflammatory. In addition, products that are a blend of honey and other sugars are cheaper than pure honey, so consumers buy them thinking they are pure honey when they are not.

The new rule would mean that any ingredients in a product other than honey must be put on the ingredient list. Honey is denied as “a thick, sweet, syrupy substance that bees make as food from the nectar of flowers and store in honeycombs”. The name on the product can include the source of the honey, such as “Clover Honey”.

Some imported honey products are adulterated with cane or corn sugars, and others have residues of chloramphenicol and fluoroquinolones. The FDA monitors those adulterated products with import surveillance. Industry will have 60 days to comment on this labeling change before the rule goes into effect.

Comments

  1. I gave up eating honey many years ago. I’m allergic to corn and sulfites, and the hidden corn syrup in honey was causing me to have severe allergic reactions. I hope I can trust the labels to tell the truth, if the FDA makes companies label other ingredients that they sneak into ‘Pure Honey’, that isn’t really pure honey.

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