Economically motivated adulteration of honey: Quality control vulnerabilities in the international Money Market

Sarah Easter Strayer, Karen Everstine, Shaun Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Economically-motivated adulteration (EMA) is the adulteration of food for financial advantage. The high value of honey puts it at risk for EMA because of strong economic incentives. The honey market is a truly global market, with over 60% of honey used in the U.S. coming from imports. There is currently no U.S. federal standard of identity for honey, which hampers regulatory efforts to ensure the safety and quality of honey. Several types of EMA have been identified in the honey industry, including dilution with less expensive syrups, intensive supplemental feeding of honey bees, unapproved use of antibiotics, and masking the true country of origin. Various factors have led to quality control vulnerabilities in the international honey market, including decreased domestic production, the lack of a federal standard of identity, insufficient analytical methods, trade policies, and country-specific testing for antibiotic residues. Despite regulatory efforts, regulatory agencies and trade organizations have struggled to ensure safe, high quality, appropriately labeled honey in the international market. This lack of quality control has potentially far-reaching consequences for public health, prices on the worldwide honey market, and the livelihood of beekeepers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-14
Number of pages7
JournalFood Protection Trends
Volume34
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014

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