Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,488 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is in part to the thread titled "Good news for US Beekeepers" in that it deals with honey laundering and some things that may be brewing. Just bringing to light some things that happen in the industry.

"As Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., leads the charge for a crackdown on "honey launderers" in China, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the seizure of 64 drums -- or $32,000 worth -- of imported Chinese honey that was contaminated with a potent antibiotic that can be lethal.

Federal marshals seized the honey last week at a distribution center in Philadelphia after it was imported by a Chinese company to California and later sold to a business in Chicago that placed it in storage."

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/06/12/schumer-gets-tough-honey-laundering/?test=latestnews

Note several things. One is that the FDA are using the US Marshals to seize the honey and not ICE. Second they are careful to not mention any of the companies names...why is that?

Here is what I am noticing and would like others to chime in. I find that the packers must also be lobbying congress to lessen restrictions though some seem to understand that this will lead to bigger problems. I found this and found it very interesting.

"(May 6) -- After years of downplaying and even ignoring the problem of illegal and often-tainted foreign honey smuggled onto U.S. grocery shelves and into food products, major North American importers and sellers of the sweet syrup today reversed course, launching a campaign to enlist the public in combating the threat.

"We estimate that millions of pounds of Chinese honey continue to enter the U.S. from countries that do not have commercial honey businesses," said Jill Clark, president of Dutch Gold Honey of Lancaster, Pa."

Rest of article is here.

http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/honey-smugglers-have-companies-fighting-back/19467142

From that same article - "And indeed, some of the nation's largest honey packagers and major suppliers have not signed onto the public-education program launched today, indicating that the industry has not coalesced around a solution to the problem. For example, not listed among the participants is Sue Bee, formally known as Sioux Bee Honey, which says it's the country's largest supplier of honey, moving about 40 million pounds each year."

Now I know we have members from the Sioux Bee COOP that post here as I ran afoul with them the last time I posted about how SUE BEE doesn't report shipments of tainted honey to the government but instead sends them back into the supply line.

""We do not buy Chinese honey," said Sue Bee Vice President Bill Huser. Then he quickly added: "We're trying not to buy Chinese honey. Someone could be trying to bamboozle us."

Huser, who's in charge of quality control, said 40 percent of the cooperative's 60 million pounds of honey packed each year is imported. But Sue Bee boasts an in-house laboratory that Huser claims is used to put foreign honey through a number of tests, including checks for antibiotic residue.

Those tests have found chloramphenicol-laced honey, he said. "It's still out there, yeah. ... We find it once a month or so."

The tainted honey is returned to the supplier, said Huser, who concedes it could find its way back into the pipeline.

"There's definitely a likelihood that it's being sold to someone else," he said."


Are you kidding me???

Anyway, lastly read all about honey laundering in this investigative report linked below and please think about contacting your congressional representative about enforcing existing laws concerning imported honey.

http://www.seattlepi.com/local/394053_honey30.asp



.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,039 Posts
Most beekeepers and honey industry personel who havent had the wool pulled over their eyes or to put another way havent believed everything sue told them know the real sue bee and it nothing to be proud of! Their poor members have a years worth of honey crop retained for capitol and I'll bet inthe long haul recieve less. Its a shame that what started as a beekeepers coop has ended up like it has!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,425 Posts
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/06/12/schumer-gets-tough-honey-laundering/?test=latestnews

Note several things. One is that the FDA are using the US Marshals to seize the honey and not ICE. Second they are careful to not mention any of the companies names...why is that?
Perhaps because your source (Fox News) saw no need to give you the information. I don't know about the jurisdiction issues involving US Marshalls vs. ICE agents, but before we get the conspiracy-theory all geared up, why not go to the source, the FDA press release.

"The seizure occurred at the Delaware Avenue Distribution Center, 700 Pattison Avenue, in Philadelphia. The bulk honey was imported by Sweet Works Inc., of Monterey Park, California from Cheng Du Wai Yuan Bee Products Company Limited of Chengdu, China. Subsequently, it was sold to Alfred L. Wolff Inc. of Chicago, which placed it in storage."

Took me all of about two minutes to find this. Fox News had access to this information for two days before their report.

I know some here think existing laws are sufficient to solve this problem. Does the law require Sue Bee to report the continuous attempts to push tainted honey into the food chain? Great they test it and return it to their supplier but if not legally, should they be ethically obligated to report this criminal activity to authorities? Their vice-president gives no indication they have taken any such action or intend to.

I'm sending an email to Sen. Schumer's office for a bit of background as to how existing laws and regulations are insufficient and how what he proposing will strengthen them. I'll report back with any reply.

I'll leave it to you to investigate the Marshall Service vs. ICE issue, if one actually exists.

Wayne
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
141 Posts
Shhhhhh......... Let sleeping dogs lie. All the talk of tainted foreign (and domestic) honey has been very very good for business.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
It seems to be it is the large food processors that are driving the honey import business. They must have an insatiable thirst for the "Bakers Blend". It would be very tempting as an executive of a processed food giant to list honey as one of the ingredients of his product but only have to pay for HFCS. Hmm. let's see, I can list honey as an ingredient but really only pay for HFCS? Why!,,, that's genious! You there! Underling, make it so!

Maybe the big guys should just drop the idea of listing honey as an ingredient and go back to sugar or hfcs. Then we could stop all imports of honey into this country and live off our own supply. What a concept!

I just read Wisconsin's new law for honey standards. It will require anyone who labels their honey as being from Wisconsin to undergo certified laboratory tests to prove it. Little guys beware, you better make sure you will make enough selling honey this year to afford the entry fee. The upside? As far as I can see it does not give more power to an increasingly centralized Federal government! Less power, less abuse of power I always say.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,488 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wayne, it's not a "conspiracy" issue. If you noted in the other thread I mentioned I pointed out that these laws are not just for ICE to enforce but because of the nature several federal law enforcement agencies can come into play. I do find it unusual that the Marshall service executed the seizure in that they do not usually seize items, but I suspect that it was ordered by a judge and the Marshals service is the enforcement arm of the Courts (serve warrants, protect court houses, etc) and as such they were the LE on hand to execute and order (and seizure).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,542 Posts
Yeah, that's right. Thanks Elwood. So, it seems like they aught to be able to handle imported honey. Maybe FBI is involved because they have the laboratories. ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,664 Posts
Yeah, that's right. Thanks Elwood. So, it seems like they aught to be able to handle imported honey. Maybe FBI is involved because they have the laboratories. ?
They don't have jurisdiction.

ICE Does.

If there was a need for testing then the samples could be sent to any number of agencies to be performed.

Alpha's point is clear that ICE CLEARLY has jurisdiction over the issue of illegal imports.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,668 Posts
I do find it unusual that the Marshall service executed the seizure in that they do not usually seize items, but I suspect that it was ordered by a judge and the Marshals service is the enforcement arm of the Courts (serve warrants, protect court houses, etc) and as such they were the LE on hand to execute and order (and seizure).

It is probably also relevant that the honey had changed ownership after being imported. ICE may be able to confiscate stuff directly from the importing company, but once the contraband changes hands, you start getting into unlawful seizure if there is no court order.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,542 Posts
I guess I misunderstood. The op doesn't say FBI, it says Federal Marshals. Which group are they under? Are Secret Service Marshals? Or maybe ICE guys are called Marshals?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
574 Posts
should they be ethically obligated to report this criminal activity to authorities?
They already are ethically obligated to do so, as are we all. They just aren't doing so because they aren't acting ethically.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,239 Posts
They already are ethically obligated to do so, as are we all. They just aren't doing so because they aren't acting ethically.
guess thats why i never got rich. i dont want to have that bothering whats left of my conscience ( :) ). by their own admission the contaminated honey (banned antibiotics, sugar syrup, chemicals..) will "most likely be resold" and be consumed by the unsuspecting public- who trust that the food they buy at the grocery is safe. not my way of life.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top