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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am writing a follow-up to an article I published regarding the Wisconsin honey standards bill. The bill passed through the house and senate and is now waiting for a signature or veto from Governor Doyle.

I would like to hear thoughts from local Wisconsin beekeepers about the bill, assuming it does get signed into law. I'm interested to know:

  1. Will the bill directly benefit you as a honey producer - will it be worth the lab costs?
  2. Will your buyers appreciate the "Wisconsin certified" stamp?
  3. Do you think the bill (if signed into law) will help keep laundered honey out of Wisconsin entirely?
If you'd like to share your opinion (even if it falls outside of the above questions), feel free to respond or PM me. Please also let me know how long you've been selling honey.

Thanks much,

Shelley
 

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I have the bill in Pdf format, PM me if you want it. It appears that the criteria are drawn from the Codex Alimentarius of the Food and Ag. Org of the U.N. and the World Health Org. I down loaded that also, and will be studying shortly. My concerns are:

What will the lab costs be?
What degree of certainty will there be in identifying "funny honey" and Non- Wisconsin honey?

Since I sell in barrels, I do not know if my customers will be willing to pay more for my product. If they do, we will be looking at a three tier pricing?

Will it keep out "funny honey" ? Not at 1,000 dollars a fine. I believe we may have to experience some major fines to see any change, and that could take a few years at the current rate that cases are heard.

We have been selling honey in Wisconsin since 1852.

Roland
Linden Apiary
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
In some respects, yes. (This was quite a lively thread.) I find that there's often a difference in perspectives when a law happens in your backyard instead of across the country.

Also, the Wisconsin bill has provisions for labeling honey as "Wisconsin Certified Honey" which the Florida provisions lack as far as I can tell. This may or may not give honey sellers an edge in the local or regional markets, now that "certified" honey has established standards behind it.
 

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I will try to contact my Senator and Rep. tomorrow and ask the following:

How often will I have to be tested to be considered a producer of"Wisconsin Honey"? Yearly? by lot?

What if the bees do not live in Wisconsin full time? At what point do they start making Wisconsin honey? What of the honey they entered the state with?

How much will it cost?

Who pays for it?

What lab will we have to use?

Roland
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I will try to contact my Senator and Rep. tomorrow and ask the following:

How often will I have to be tested to be considered a producer of"Wisconsin Honey"? Yearly? by lot?

What if the bees do not live in Wisconsin full time? At what point do they start making Wisconsin honey? What of the honey they entered the state with?

How much will it cost?

Who pays for it?

What lab will we have to use?

Roland
Do you think your consumers would respond positively to "Certified Wisconsin Honey?"

I think that if I were buying at our farmer's market I'd certainly give a "Certified New York Honey" more preference. Something about rooting for the home team, I guess.
 

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My local customers know where my honey is produced. I don't need a certification label to show them that. I put a label on the bottle that says "local honey". That allows anyone that wants to test my honey themselves(their cost) to see if it did come from WI to do so. If the test shows it didn't then I would be false advertising. On the store shelves honey bottles have the country of origin stamped somewhere on it. They just don't stamp china on it when that is where it comes from. Wouldn't it be easier to just have the county, state, or country of origin on the label. If that is falsified then action could be taken(fines). Just because a label says certified doesn't mean squat. Look at the certified organic trend, lots of that is a joke. Just because someone pays for the certification of their honey doesn't mean that is the only honey they will use. Once the label says certified, just like many other things, people will believe what the label says when it may or may not be true. Wouldn't the USDA just be better off spending their money to prove what packers are using chinese honey(or other honey blends) that is bypassing tariffs and is mislabeled then charge them accordingly. Instead they want to go after the innocent and make them pay for what the crooks are doing. Just like the gun laws, go after the law abidding citizens that own guns while the crooks still have theirs and would continue to have them even if they were banned. A crook is a crook and that is how he operates. The honest man has a hard enough time making a living without more restrictions being applied to him. A law defining pure honey(not blended with sugar,corn syrup, rice syrup, etc.) and a law stating place of origin needs to be on the label is all that is needed. If either one of those are falsified then action would be taken with fines large enough to pay for the program doing the testing. With fines large enough the crooks would change their ways or be out of business. While at the same time Joe Schmoe beekeeper can continue with his honesty instead of being run out of business because of over regulating standards.
 

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QUOTE: In addition to avoiding costly taxes, the laundered Chinese honey was found to be contaminated by antibiotics and sometimes diluted with high fructose corn syrup.

Honey gets its sweetness from the monosaccharides fructose and glucose and has approximately the same relatiIve sweetness as that of granulated sugar (74% of the sweetness of sucrose, a disaccharide)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey

Bee Products
Raw Unfiltered Honey has been used since ancient Egypian times as an effective topical antibiotic to treat cuts, burns, and scrapes, just slap it on!

Rarely, raw honey can become infected with botulism, a dangerous bacteria.
http://www.reikinurse.com/naturalabx.html

Honey makes a comeback as natural antibiotic
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNe..._medicinal_071226/20071226?hub=Health&s_name=

I have known for years that Honey was a natural antibiotic, so why is it they think China is putting that in... :lpf:
 

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As of Thursday morning, the Governor(608 266-1212) has yet to review the bill.

If my understanding is correct, After he signs it, it goes to the Ag dept for development of Administrative code. In that process, there will be public hearings. I have alerted my Senator's office to please notify me when they are sceduled(sp?).

Beeslave, I see your points, the gun analogy is appropriate. What changes would you like? Tie the funding to court case revenue?

If any of this is incorrect, please inform me so I can edit it.

Roland
 

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I would like to have a link to the bill in question not one about higher education.

Roland,
Of course it should be funded by court cost from those individuals and countries causing the problem. I've done nothing wrong so why should I have to pay for it. I pay taxes on the fuel needed for the job. I pay taxes on the income I produce from the sale of the honey. I pay taxes on everything that needs to be put into the hive. I pay taxes on the license's on my vehicles used for the work. I pay taxes on the buildings I use to do the work in. I pay taxes on the phone used to do business while others are given the phones for free. I pay taxes on the electricity used for processing/extracting the honey. I'm taxed by the state to have my bees inspected(when a permit is needed). I'm taxed by the trucker hauling my bees to other states because he is taxed by all his regulations and fuel. I'M TAXED ENOUGH! My guns are loaded and ready to fire!(figure of speech)
 

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After reading the proposed bill the testing is only required if you want to label your honey "Wisconsin Certified". The other part of the bill is putting a definition of what pure honey is. I got all worked up over nothing. That's what happens when you assuME.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
After reading the proposed bill the testing is only required if you want to label your honey "Wisconsin Certified". The other part of the bill is putting a definition of what pure honey is. I got all worked up over nothing. That's what happens when you assuME.
I'm sorry the original link didn't work correctly - it was right when I first tested it. :scratch: It looks like you found the text; just in case here's what should be a link to the bill's text: http://tiny.cc/rxy12.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I do appreciate it!

Shelley
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
As of Thursday morning, the Governor(608 266-1212) has yet to review the bill.

If my understanding is correct, After he signs it, it goes to the Ag dept for development of Administrative code. In that process, there will be public hearings. I have alerted my Senator's office to please notify me when they are sceduled(sp?).

Beeslave, I see your points, the gun analogy is appropriate. What changes would you like? Tie the funding to court case revenue?

If any of this is incorrect, please inform me so I can edit it.

Roland
According to Senator Vinehout the administrative process will take approximately 18 months (on the optimistic side) to finalize the process behind the law (if signed) and it's a voluntary testing program for the Certified Wisconsin label.

I suspect the "Certified" label will do more good as a marketing tool. Just speaking as a consumer, it certainly works for cheese and wine when I'm shopping. Why not honey?
 
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