Honey fraud continues

Does it matter if the Philippine people are being lied to and are being sold unknown mixtures of potentially unhealthy sugary stuff ?

Click this link for an overview of honey fraud in the Philippines.

The majority of ‘honey’ on sale to the Philippine public is fraudulent.  In the supermarkets there is the Cem ‘honey’ fraud and much of the ‘pure honey’ sold from honey hunters is mixed with sugar or other ingredients. This stuff does not taste like genuine honey from bees and neither does it have the ‘naturally healthy’ qualities of genuine bee honey. The fraudulent and fake honey is sold by untrustworthy sources who evidently do not care about their customers and most likely do not care about bees, the environment, farmers crops or the livelihood of other people.

This widespread fraudulent trade undermines the agricultural economy since it disguises the situation that relatively little genuine honey is available in the Philippines from honeybees that are needed to pollinate crops. In addition, destructive honey hunting destroys the bee colonies that are needed to pollinate farmers crops.

This link discusses supermarket social and economic responsibilities.

It is also true that there are many honest honey hunters who provide pure honey, and at times I have kindly been given honey without any money being expected.  The honey produced by ‘honey gatherers’ and genuine beekeepers positively helps the farmers to produce their crops and helps the agricultural economy, since bee colonies are not being destroyed in the process – indeed bee populations are maintained and encouraged.

The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), several supermarkets and the Cem Food Products company have been kept informed about the information on this website. This website is open to everyone, but so far none of these participants have chosen to respond with any information about their position. The Philippine public should be able to trust the food products they are being sold and need food suppliers to be open and honest – if that is not the case then the FDA should at least show some interest in performing their publicly funded duty.

It appears that so far the FDA is not adequately performing the role they are responsible for and have not shown any interest in honey fraud.  The supermarkets appear to be pretending that the Cem honey fraud does not exist. The current situation means that the supermarkets can make ‘legitimate’ money from fraudulent honey since the responsible government departments are not doing anything about it – even though they should all be aware of the immorality of the situation and the wider damage done to agriculture.

After asking the Cem company many times where they sourced their ‘honey’ from some response was eventually received. However, the only emails received so far from the Cem company have been very caustic (I would not want to publish such unpleasant material on this website).  Importantly the Cem company absolutely will not provide me or their customers with any information on where their ‘honey’ comes from – even though it is labelled as honey from Philippine bees!

The Cem company, the FDA and the supermarkets can show that they actually care for their clients by ‘Leaving a reply’ (just as anybody else can) on the website to provide the public with their perspective.

About Julian Wright

Julian Wright is a British agricultural scientist married to a Philippine teacher, who has a house and some land planted to coconuts and other crops near Dumaguete in the Philippines.
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