FDA discovers fraud in 10% of imported honey

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently released the results of a testing activity focused on economically motivated adulteration (EMA) of imported honey, revealing that 10% of the tested samples were violative.  

The agency carried out the analysis on 144 samples of imported honey from bulk and retail shipments from 32 countries (mainly from India and Vietnam) in 2021 and 2022 to identify products that contained less expensive undeclared added sweeteners, such as syrups from cane and corn.  

Stable Carbon Isotope Ratio Analysis (SCIRA) have been used to analyze the organic composition of each honey sample. Each time carbon isotope values in a subsample were found to be atypical compared to those of authentic honey, the agency classified the associated sample as violative/non-compliant.  

During this assessment, 14 samples (10%) were found to be violative.  

As a result, the agency refused entry of violative shipments into the US, while associated companies and products have been placed on an import alert.

The agency confirmed it will continue to test this type of product because more than 70% of the honey consumed in the US is imported and studies suggest that EMA of honey is prevalent, with figures as high as 13% in Canada and 14% in the European Union.