This information is from Kim Flottum's Catch the Buzz email newsletter, or also available here:
This is not just some anonymous foreign importer. The illegal honey was disguised by using a US honey packer, Groeb Farms. Here is info about Groeb Farms from the National Honey Board website:Five individuals and two domestic honey-processing companies have been charged with federal crimes in connection with a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)-led investigation surrounding illegal importations of honey from China.
The charges assert that the Chinese-origin honey was misdeclared as other commodities upon importation into the United States and transshipped through other countries to evade anti-dumping duties. Altogether, the seven defendants allegedly evaded anti-dumping duties totaling more than $180 million.
The charges represent the second phase of an investigation led by HSI. In June 2011, an HSI undercover special agent assumed the role of the director of procurement at Honey Holding I Ltd., which by then was cooperating with the investigation.
Honey Holding, doing business as Honey Solutions, of Baytown, Texas, and Groeb Farms Inc., of Onsted, Mich. – two of the nation's largest honey suppliers – have both entered into deferred prosecution agreements with the government. Honey Holding has agreed to pay $1 million and Groeb Farms has agreed to pay $2 million in fines. Both companies have also agreed to implement corporate compliance programs as part of their respective agreements.
Groeb Farms, Inc. buys Honey from 42 states and around the world, with capacity for over 80 million pounds of Honey at its processing facilities in Belleview, Florida, Onsted, Michigan, and Colton, California. Groeb Farms, Inc. is the #1 Industrial & Foodservice Honey packers. Groeb Farms has differentiated itself from other Honey packers. Serving both the Industrial, Foodservice and Retail markets with products such as Honey, Peanut Butter, Mustard, Molasses & Vinegar, thus making Groeb Farms your “One-Stop-Shop” supplier.
Here's what Groeb says on their own website:
Here is the other culprit identified by nameOur efforts are focused on food quality, safety, and sustainability while providing the value and service all customers should demand. We serve the U.S. consumer through our supply of pure honey to further manufacturers and directly with Control Label and our Company Brands of Groeb Farms and Miller’s. This is a responsibility we take seriously. The Groeb Farms production facilities operate in strict compliance with risk-based quality control procedures and are certified by BRC, the definitive certifying body for global food safety.
Between them, they claim to be handling 110 million pounds of honey a year! Wishful thinking perhaps, but it would be nice to see reputable US buyers refuse to do business with these no-good-niks and have them go out of business.Honey Solutions is one of the largest dedicated industrial honey suppliers in the United States. Honey Solutions provides over 30,000,000 pounds of industrial honey per year from coast to coast to America’s most premier bakeries and food processors.Our mission is to service the approximate 200 million pounds per year ingredient and food service segment of the US honey industry. Our nationally branded and specialty foods customers value our quality, continuity of supply, timeliness of supply and price competitiveness in the industry. Our advanced honey lab and Quality Assurance provides AIB Superior Certified production while maintaining low- cost supplier status for our customers.