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  1. #1
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    Default NYS Standard of Identity (SOI)

    Should NYS have a law that defines honey?

    Should any state have a law that defines honey?

    Why do people feel a need or desire to have a law that defines honey?

    Cant we just look up the definition of honey in Websters dictionary?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: NYS Standard of Identity (SOI)

    Interesting. I know of a local guy that feeds Hi Fructose syrup all summer and bottles honey? Is it really honey?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: NYS Standard of Identity (SOI)

    Quote Originally Posted by BMAC View Post
    Should any state have a law that defines honey?
    Six or more State do, whether any should or not. I don't know.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  4. #4
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    Default Re: NYS Standard of Identity (SOI)

    OK, take Webster's definition, what ever it is. How do you take that definition to a testing lab and have them verify that the sample is or is not honey, in a manner that can be repeated, and hold up in a court of law? We all know that honey is that which is collected from flowers, but how do you prove or disprove that?

    If you DO define honey in a manner that defines the lab tests, then if the sample fails a repeatable test, you CAN take it into a court of law and file for damages(you have been injured) against the individual that has sold a product as honey, that is not..

    Crazy Roland

  5. #5
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    Default Re: NYS Standard of Identity (SOI)

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ial#post861572

    post # 13 and #15 says it all for me, I would go for the standard of identity, but it taking 5 years for something that most beeks want, and the consumer would want if they know what was going on is really to long. having only lived in N.Y. 10 years I can predict that N.Y. will never have a SOI or at least in my life time. Was a hot topic when floriday passed theirs, now not so much.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  6. #6
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    Default Re: NYS Standard of Identity (SOI)

    You'll have to call Paul Cappy, NYS Apiculturalist, for the particulars, but I was told that a random selection of a sizeable number, maybe 100, of jars of honey were collected from across NYS, tested and no contamination or adulteration found. I guess I should call him myself and see if there is any kind of report to be had.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  7. #7
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    Default Re: NYS Standard of Identity (SOI)

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    but I was told that a random selection of a sizeable number, maybe 100, of jars of honey were collected from across NYS, tested and no contamination or adulteration found. I guess I should call him myself and see if there is any kind of report to be had.
    I'll have to find the testing by the fda, trying out there new equipment, not in ny, but they only found a few that didn't/weren't contaminated.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  8. #8
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    Default Re: NYS Standard of Identity (SOI)

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ial#post861572

    post # 13 and #15 says it all for me, I would go for the standard of identity, but it taking 5 years for something that most beeks want, and the consumer would want if they know what was going on is really to long. having only lived in N.Y. 10 years I can predict that N.Y. will never have a SOI or at least in my life time. Was a hot topic when floriday passed theirs, now not so much.

    Will legally defining honey prevent adulteration? Beekeepers and packers have been fighting adulterated honey in this country for well over 100 years. Will a new law magically prevent bad honey?

    I understand the lawyers want new laws all the time. What is wroung with going after those offenders under mislabeling? Isn't the word PURE on the label adequate?

    One comment at the annual meeting from a lady said she is all for the SOI so she can charge more money for her NYS Qualified honey. I thought about asking her why she dont just charge more for the honey now.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: NYS Standard of Identity (SOI)

    Good question Brian. I know people who already do. Nothing about the SOI will mean you can do that anymore in the future than now, imo.

    I don't know why people don't just decide what they want for their honey and charge that price for it and see what happens. Every time I have raised my prices I sell more and I usually bottle evewry drop I produce This year I sold some buckets to another bkpr..

    Nothing will prevent adulteration from happening. Packers have done it and been prosecuted and then do it again. Maybe not stiff enuf fines levied. (?)
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  10. #10
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    Default Re: NYS Standard of Identity (SOI)

    I think you are correct about the stiffer fines. We can already chemical determine if something adulterated.

    I absolutely agree that beekeepers need to challenge the market price if they do NOT feel like they are getting enough for their honey. We do it fairly frequent with good results. We have never had an issue selling our honey.

    Members there are worried about commercial beekeepers packaging their melter honey as buckwheat honey also. I dont know every commercial operation or what they do but I think it would be fairly easy to identify melter honey compared to buckwheat honey.

    In reality I dont believe we should put a new law in effect due to perception. Those who mentioned melter honey in or sold as buckwheat honey didnt identify any NYS commercial beekeeper who is guilty of doing such deceitful actions.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: NYS Standard of Identity (SOI)

    When I bought some Buckwheat from Wixsons Honey Inc which Jerry said came out of Washington State. It sure tasted like Buckwheat to me. When I sold that to one customer in particular, by the case, he had me pick up the rest of the case the next time I was around because he and his customers didn't like the taste. Said it wasn't Buckwheat. So, I'm thinking that "Buckwheat" is the new Buckwheat. Were it labeled Wax Melter Honey I wonder is people would still like it as well?

    Other people run their wax melter honey through the bulk tank w/ the rest of the honey and into the barrel. I don't know if the price balances out or not. It's still honey, so would one really need to label it Clover/Wax Melter Honey?
    Last edited by sqkcrk; 11-23-2012 at 06:55 AM. Reason: catch enuf flack from the pure and righteous
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  12. #12
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    Default Re: NYS Standard of Identity (SOI)

    I would think the taste would come thru when they blend it as well. Maybe not. Maybe part of the issue is selling honey by color. That almost always forces packers and large beekeepers to blend their honey to the correct color. I know that is an industry wide practice. However selling melter honey as Buckwheat honey is still mislabeling. It's not adulterated, just mislabled and go under same existing labeling rules?

    I have always sold mine to folks as just that, melter honey. Im sure some of the farmers I sold mine to mix it with corn (treat it as molasses).

    Wont the consumer rectifier anyone who is producing low quality honey?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: NYS Standard of Identity (SOI)

    I would think so.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  14. #14
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    Default Re: NYS Standard of Identity (SOI)

    I would like to believe customers will figure it out pretty quick. Especially those who go out of their way to get your honey. I know I have quite a few that come out to the house to buy it anywhere from 1 gallon to 5 gallons at a shot.

    So speaking of mislabeling how many times have beekeepers said their spring early summer honey is clover honey and the fall honey as wild flower honey?

    Isn't it all wildflower honey?

    The honey I get from Ga is mostly gallberry and black gum honey. Of course there is some titi coming in and a few others. Should I label it as gallberry, or black gum? Nobody ever heard of black gum honey less you are producing it in the south. Most folks heard of Gallberry.

    What if we started calling the local honey dandelion and sumac honey?

    Sometimes labeling can get pretty crazy.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: NYS Standard of Identity (SOI)

    If there is a difference in the color and taste I bet you could label it differently and charge more for it. I don't know who would check and how they would tell, beyond color and taste. Sure, if someone wanted to go to the expense of checking the pollen grains. But, realistically?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  16. #16
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    Default Re: NYS Standard of Identity (SOI)

    It would be expensive to send off each time I extract. Jerry has mentioned the cost of having a lab analyze it. It would also be scary to see what kind of other chemicals they maybe dragging in from things such as mosquito abaitment or other ag farming.

    Maybe we would find chinese honey is cleaner than our own honey?

    I would like to think we can produce cleaner honey than china can produce but who knows?

  17. #17
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    Default Re: NYS Standard of Identity (SOI)

    took me a while but I found the post I posted b/4.
    I found where the usda was testing the method that they use for testing honey, I'll copy the interesting parts below and give the link.

    http://ddr.nal.usda.gov/bitstream/10...ND44027553.pdf <---- note this url no longer works I'll see if I can find it again.


    Incurred Honey Samples. The performance of the method

    was evaluated with incurred honey obtained from treated

    beehives. For most of the analytes, two incurred levels (n ) 5)

    were assayed. Fumagillin and oxytetracycline residues were

    detected in the incurred honey, but their levels were below the

    validated range of the method. The highest CVs of the incurred

    levels are reported in Table 5. The repeatability errors for the

    tested analytes in the incurred honey were less than 14%.



    Only three

    of the 15 retail honeys tested were totally free from all 17

    antibiotics. The majority of the honeys contained either one or

    two of the antibiotics, and one sample had as many as four

    different antibiotics. The positive findings are as follows: tylosin

    (8), lincomycin (3), oxytetracycline (2), chloramphenicol (2),

    streptomycin (2), sulfathiazole (1), tetracycline (1), and danofloxacin


    now I didn't read all of the document and they didn't say where the honey came from but only 2 of the above are legal in the USA that I know of, and fumidil doesn't show up in any.
    if anyone can read and understand the entire thing please let us know.

    added they also said fumidil breaks down in light, my comment on that would be, if it actually made it into your jar of honey, wouldn't it then break down?? they also said at that time that they hadn't set a residual level yet for the legal chemicals, but that there is no legal level for the ilegal chems. if I read it correctly.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  18. #18
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    Default Re: NYS Standard of Identity (SOI)

    The break down product from exposure of Fumagilin-B to UV is still efficacious for Nosema so it must still be an antibiotic in some form. The big problem we have in North Carolina is not adulteration but honey brought in from other states and countries being sold as local honey. We bottle our honey and sell it the end retail seller (stores, health food coops, farmer's market vendors, etc.). All of our major competitors in this state sell non-NC honey as local honey. Very few of them have any bees although most claim to have bees. The prime example is a guy who claims to have 10,000 colonies in two other states but actually has no bees. Its hard to compete with that when you are actually producing the honey with your bees. At least its easier to sleep at night.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: NYS Standard of Identity (SOI)

    I don't think that a state standard will help much.
    I think it wiser to produce really good honey, market it well, and let those who can't tell the difference buy what they will.

    We don't have a standard now, and the honey i sell is going for well above commodity honey price.

    If people can't tell the difference between what a guy produces and adulterated honey, how is his honey actually higher in value?

    I know many will probably say SOI is for protecting the consumer, but truly, we are protecting the honey commodity market.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: NYS Standard of Identity (SOI)

    It all depends on how regulations are actually enforced. Usually by design or default its by the Keystone cops. North Carolina has given authority for initial investigative and enforcement actions to the state hobby beekeepers association. It is like letting everyone with a 10 gallon aquarium regulate (and potentially ruin the business of) commercial fisherman. Currently, if you pay the hobbyists $25.00 a year and swear "honest injun" you can buy unlimited "Certified North Carolina Honey" stickers from them as long as you buy them from "their vendor". No honey testing - no verification that you have any colonies. What a joke. One of the principals on the "Honey Standards Committee" is by his own admission one of the worst violators. That's where most attempts at regulation end up.

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