Fake honey producers in sticky situation

Thursday, 04 December, 2014

A company that tried to pass Turkish honey based predominantly on plant sugars off as pure Australian honey has been penalised more than $10,000 and issued with an infringement notice by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Hume Import & Export (trading as Bera Foods) is not the first company to have been found guilty of selling adulterated honey from Turkey. In June, Basfoods was fined $30,600 for importing ‘honey’ from Turkey that mainly consisted of plant sugars including corn and sugar cane.

A number of other suppliers of products such as Sunshine Honey, Hecham Honey, Brezzo Italian Red Gum Honey, Meg Myucku 100% natural honey and Golden Honey have also been forced to withdraw remaining stocks of ‘honey’ products that were in fact not entirely produced by bees.

According to the ACCC, Bera Foods’ ‘Hi Honey’ product contravened the Australian Consumer Law by promoting the product as Australian honey by using the word honey and including a map of Australia on the product label when it was in fact produced in Turkey and not 100% honey.

“The ACCC was concerned in this case because although ‘Hi Honey’ was labelled as honey, the product was not actually honey produced by honey bees. Honey suppliers must ensure any products they sell as ‘honey’ are in fact produced entirely by honey bees,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.

“Further, the inclusion of a prominent map of Australia on the Hi Honey label may have led consumers to conclude the product was produced in Australia when this was not the case. Credence claims such as this are a priority area for the ACCC, to ensure consumers are given accurate information about the content and origin of products.”

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