It’s all about the Money, Honey.

September 7, 2010

All hail the mighty bee.  While small and short-lived, the bee is essential to human civilization.  (As Albert Einstein *may have* extolled: “If the bee disappears from the surface of the Earth, man would have no more than four years left to live.”

Given their vital role in civilization (and my garden), my antennae perked up a bit when I read of the feds prosecuting “honey laundering”.  Yes, honey laundering.

According to AOL News:

Eleven Chinese and German executives and six of their food supply and honey export companies were charged Wednesday with 44 counts of conspiring to illegally import Chinese-origin honey, including honey tainted with antibiotics, into the U.S. by mislabeling it as originating in other countries to avoid paying anti-dumping fees.

Apparently, the whole honey laundering scheme was meant to avoid $80 million worth of anti-dumping duties. Dumping occurs when a foreign country exports goods for a price lower than what it would charge within its home country.  For more on the anti-dumping statutes (once 19 U.S.C.A. §§ 160 et seq., now 19 U.S.C.A. §§ 1671 et seq.), see Callman on Unfair Competition (CALLMANN § 7:30).

The problem with Chinese honey?  It contains “small amounts of the antibiotics and antibacterial drugs Ciprofloxacin, Norfloxacin, Chloramphenicol and Furazolidone.”


For more on the criminal side, check out  complaint, 126 DRUMS OF HONEY SEIZED ON APRIL 4, 2008…(2009 WL 2967051, docket 1:09cv05530):

This forfeiture action is brought pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Section 981(a)(1)(C), in that the defendant goods, consisting of honey, were knowingly imported or brought into the United States in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 542 and 545.

By the way, allergy sufferers might want to read up on the potentially unmatched health benefits of eating local honey.