bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Friday, March 19, 2004

Argentinian honey under a cloud

Following the Chinese honey scare and subsequent import bans by many countries, honey, possibly of Argentinian origin, is now under suspicion. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has recalled some no-name brand honeys from a chain store in Western Canada. The honey has been found to contain nitrofurans, an agricultural chemical that is banned in Canada and, according to a Canadian “bee specialist”, may have been used in Argentina in an attempt to control foulbrood, the disease that affects bee brood leading to the debilitation or death of colonies.

Canada produces 38.6 million kilograms of honey a year — more than enough to meet the average Canadian consumption of just under one kg per person, per year. Nonetheless, Canada exports about one-quarter (nine million kilograms) of its honey each year and therefore imports honey — often to use in blends with the home-produced product.

UPDATE: The banned honey is now being described as an Argentinian-Australian blend. The Australian Honey Bee Council insists that Australian producers do not use nitrofurans. See latest developments in story.


Post a Comment

<< Home