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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Thousand Oaks, CA USA
    Posts
    1,206

    Default New Law in California for Honey and Labels

    Food and Agricultural Code Section 29413(1) was amended to esablish a new definition of honey and set new labeling standards for honey products. In the process, a new crime was created for violating the standards.

    According to an article my atty James Spenser in "Central Coast Farm and Ranch" magazine, "honey" is now limited to substances produced by honeybees, and exludes products containing food additives or coloring. A precise chemical composition of honey is described, procedures to influence crystallization are prohibited, and distinctions are made between blossom honey, nectar honey and honeydew honey. The latter term now refers to substances generated by plant-sucking insects other than honeybees. As of Jan 1, all forms of honey products and labels must meet the new standards.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Blythe,California,USA
    Posts
    280

    Default Re: New Law in California for Honey and Labels

    im still not getting what these new standards are. If its dew honey ? nectar honey ? or blossom honey? hmmm . is that what the distinction is?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
    Posts
    524

    Default Re: New Law in California for Honey and Labels

    What is the difference between blossom honey and nectar honey?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,699

    Default Re: New Law in California for Honey and Labels

    In Canada, those who are federally inspected are required to label and grade the honey they sell to the public.
    If any honey has been flavored, you can not say "lemon honey" or "raspberry honey". These terms imply that the bees foraged on lemon tree blossoms or raspberry plants.
    We are to state on the label "honey with lemon" "honey with raspberry". If the honey is no longer pure, ie flavored, the ingredients must be listed.

    Not all follow the regs. This is because they are not an inspected facility.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Gainesville, FL
    Posts
    165

    Default Re: New Law in California for Honey and Labels

    I believe this is the text of the new law referenced above. "Blossom" and "nectar" honey are the same. "Honeydew honey" is honey made by bees from the exudates of other insects (NOT just the honeydew itself).

    THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

    SECTION 1. Section 29413 of the Food
    and Agricultural Code is amended to read:
    29413. (a) "Honey" means the natural sweet substance produced
    by honeybees from the nectar of plants or from secretions of living parts
    of plants or excretions of plant sucking insects on the living parts of
    plants, which the bees collect, transform by combining with specific
    substances of their own, deposit, dehydrate, store, and leave in the
    honey comb to ripen and mature .
    (b) "Blossom honey" or "nectar honey" means the honey that comes
    from nectars of plants.
    (c) "Honeydew honey" means the honey that comes mainly from
    excretions of plant sucking insects (Hemiptera) on living parts of
    plants or secretions of living parts of plants.
    (d) Honey consists essentially of different sugars, predominantly
    fructose and glucose as well as other substances such as organic
    acids, enzymes, and solid particles derived from honey collection.
    The color of honey can vary from nearly colorless to dark brown. The
    consistency can be fluid, viscous, or partially to completely
    crystallized. The flavor and aroma vary, but are derived from plant
    origin.
    (e) Honey sold as described in subdivision (d) shall not have
    added to it any ingredient, including food additives, nor shall any
    other additions be made other than honey. Honey shall not have any
    objectionable matter, flavor, aroma, or taint absorbed from foreign
    matter during its processing and storage. Honey shall not have begun
    to ferment or effervesce and no pollen or constituent particular to
    honey may be removed except where unavoidable in the removal of
    foreign inorganic or organic matter.
    (f) Honey shall meet the following standards:
    (1) Honey shall not be heated or processed to such an extent that
    its essential composition is changed or its quality is impaired.

    (2) Chemical or biochemical treatments shall not be used to
    influence honey crystallization.
    (3) Honey shall not contain more than 20 percent moisture content
    and for heather honey not more than 23 percent.
    (4) Honey shall contain not less than 60 percent fructose and
    glucose, combined.
    (5) Honeydew honey and blends of honeydew honey with blossom honey
    shall not contain less than 45 percent fructose and glucose,
    combined.
    (6) Blossom honey shall not contain more than 5 percent sucrose,
    except for the following:
    (A) Alfalfa (Medicago saliva), citrus spp., false acacia (Robinia
    pseudoacacia), French honeysuckle (Hedysarum), Menzies banksias
    (Banksia menziesii), red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), leatherwood
    (Eucryphia lucida), and Eucryphia milligani may contain up to 10
    percent sucrose.
    (B) Lavender (Lavandula spp.) and borage (Borago officinalis) may
    contain up to 15 percent sucrose.
    (7) The water insoluble solids content for honey other than
    pressed honey shall not be more than 0.1g/100g. The content for
    pressed honey shall not be more than 0.5g/100g.
    SEC. 2. No reimbursement is required by this act
    pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
    Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local
    agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a
    new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or
    changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of
    Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a
    crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the
    California Constitution. All matter omitted in this version of
    the bill appears in the bill as amended in the Senate, June 22, 2009
    (JR11)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,304

    Default Re: New Law in California for Honey and Labels

    Not sure, but doesn't manzanita honey have a high sucrose level? I seem to remember reading about a dispute in Arizona years ago with the honey loan program over high sucrose in manzanita.
    It is a common California honey, but isn't listed in the new law.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default Re: New Law in California for Honey and Labels

    Mike I remember that too, some dispute over the honey composition during the times when it was all delivered to USDA because ya couldn't sell it.
    A polariscope was used to measure sugar proportions. Fir dew from the Sierras would qualify as honey, good for loan program.
    Also hfcs had just come out and there was adulteration concern.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,304

    Default Re: New Law in California for Honey and Labels

    Just wondering,cause some years we get quite a bit of manzanita honey. In between spring snowstorms that is.Its funny to see bees sucking water from the edge of a snowdrift on a sunny day.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Macon, GA USA
    Posts
    948

    Default Re: New Law in California for Honey and Labels

    I have seen drafts of a national honey standard that to my knowledge never went anywhere. But they were only a short paragraph that basically said honey comes from nectar or plant sucking insects.

    This definition covers a lot and at least to me begs a lot of questions.

    1) What is a chemical or biochemical treatment to influence crystallization? Is it currently legal and being done now? Would this include the addition of dextrose to cream honey as it comes in Dadant's creamed honey kit?

    2) "no pollen or constituent particular to honey may be removed except where unavoidable in the removal of foreign inorganic or organic matter"

    Is this supposed to outlaw microfiltering to remove pollen? Isn't microfiltering actually the "removal of foreign inorganic or organic material -- which would exempt this process?

    3) They've gone to great pains to define allowable amounts of different sugars in varietal honey (I guess to outlaw adulteration with corn syrup and other things), but I don't see any details about allowable levels of antibiotics, pesticides, and other chemicals (assuming there are allowable levels)

    4) How do they define each varietal honey -- 51% of the pollen grains in a tested sample?

    5) Is heather honey (and other pressed honey) made in California or is this mainly for imports?

    6) Who is going to test for compliance with this? Who will pay for it?

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