The Seattle PI News Source recently published an article on Honey Laundering; possible tainted Chinese honey getting into the U.S. and past FDA inspectors. The honey laundering game played by Chinese exporters could be used to get numerous products into the U.S. that are currently red flagged by the FDA if they are known to originate from China. What we don’t know, can certainly hurt us and our pets.
The Seattle article details a five month investigation “Following the Honey Trail”. The investigation has discovered elaborate schemes of honey exporters bypassing tariffs, and red flagged country of origin producers of honey known to be tainted with illegal pesticides and antibiotics. “Tens of thousands of pounds of honey entering the U.S. each year come from countries that raise few bees and have no record of producing honey for export. Since 2002, FDA has issued three ‘import alerts’ to inspectors at ports and border crossings to detain shipments of tainted Chinese honey.” http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/394053_honey30.asp
How are Chinese exporters getting past FDA honey alerts? The investigation of Seattle PI provides the following two examples:
“A shipment of 125 containers holding 1.7 million liters of honey traveled from Shanghai to Singapore and on to Australia. Then the Chinese honey was relabeled as “Australian” and separated into two loads of 200-liter drums and shipped to Los Angeles and Tacoma.”
“Five containers holding 250 drums of Chinese honey were shipped from China to India where it was relabeled as “Indian” and sent on to Norfolk, VA., and Jacksonville, FL.”
Honey is not the only concern for U.S. consumers. Currently the FDA has import alerts issued on many Chinese goods, mostly melamine related ingredients such as glutens, vegetable proteins, and milk products; common ingredients in many U.S. people and pet foods. Obviously, shifty Chinese exporters have mastered the game of getting by the FDA. Just as Australian and Indian honey is not on a FDA import warning list and not likely to be tested for toxins, neither would Australian or Indian glutens, vegetable proteins, and milk products that could be contaminated with melamine (or worse). Chinese exporters understand how to beat the FDA inspections, at the risk of pets and people in the U.S. and Canada.
While it should be a red flag to the FDA when non honey producing countries send shipments of tons of honey into U.S. ports, the FDA doesn’t seem capable of seeing the red flag. This FDA inability to protect people and pets leaves us somewhat helpless to protect our families. One more reason added to a long list of reasons the FDA must be completely overhauled immediately.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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