Honey fraud in supermarkets in the Philippines

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

Go into just about any of the large supermarket chains and you will find ‘honey’ for sale on the shelves.  There will most usually be many containers of Philippine ‘honey’ from a company called Cem’s Food Products with an address in Manila – with large descriptive labeling including: ‘honey from the forests of Palawan’, ‘rare tropical honey’, ‘extra virgin honey’, ‘raw wild honey’, ‘unfiltered honey’, ‘naturally healthful’, ‘Ultra Heat Treatment’, together with pictures of bees and beehives.

Cem ‘honey’ is about a third of the price of the imported honey (from the USA or Australia). Research indicates that the major supplier of ‘honey’ products to the national supermarkets is the Cem brand. Consumers are being given the clear message that the Cem ‘honey’ is wonderful honey made by bees in plentiful supply from the Philippines at a very reasonable price.

I expect you will have an opinion if you have ever tasted this ‘honey’!
(Offer your opinion in the ‘Leave a Reply’ form below.)Cem floodLengthy and detailed enquiries have resulted in the conclusion that the content of the Cem ‘honey’ bottles is not from the Philippines, and that the actual origin and ‘purity’ of the contents are uncertain. The company premises are in an industrial area of Manila and the company has no ‘bee farms’. No Philippine beekeepers appear to supply the Cem’s Food Products company, yet they flood the supermarkets with dubious products clearly labelled and marketed as if it was Philippine honey from Philippine bees! Despite repeated requests the Cem company refuse to state where their ‘honey’ comes from.

The Cem Food Products company has no website and does not offer any customer information or enquiry service, despite it being the largest ‘honey’ supplier in the Philippines. If the Cem company truely respected its customers and retailers, it would be eager to provide open and clear information such as an example professional Indian honey company does (Bharat Honey) and as other professional genuine honey companies do, both in the Philippines and in other countries.

Cem raw wildCem superior

Genuine beekeepers in the Philippines are increasingly prepared to state publicly that this persistent fraudulent activity is wrong and that it needs to be corrected. Fuller information from these enquiries has been repeatedly sent by the author to the Food & Drugs Administration since this is the government body responsible for public food and health issues, but as yet no response from the FDA has been received. This situation would not be acceptable in many other countries – the Philippine people should be able to trust the food they buy in supermarkets.

(The post What is honey? explains the nature of genuine honey.)

This also matters because the existance of this honey fraud negatively impacts on the reputation and perception of Philippine honey, and also undermines any developing beekeeping industry. This situation also contributes to a reduced national population of pollinating bees and consequently lower crop yields for millions of farmers.

(This link provides actual email evidence of the CEM fraud: http://beephilippines.info/honey-fraud-supermarkets-evidence-2/)

Offer your opinion in the ‘Leave a Reply’ form below.

About Julian

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.
This entry was posted in General posts, Honey, Honey fraud. Bookmark the permalink.

118 Responses to Honey fraud in supermarkets in the Philippines

  1. alan ebora says:

    Hi, i bought a bottle of this “CEM’s Raw unfiltered honey” to taste. Personally, i dont like it.

    thank you for writing such informative articles.

    • chona says:

      So which brand of honey is really pure… when can i buy this… a trusted brand for honey here in the philippines?

      • Julian says:

        Hi Chona,
        There are several genuine bee honey brands in the Philippines, which have informative websites.
        The fraudsters like CEM have no website or contact details which will be answered. Hopefully the FDA will do the job they are paid for and tackle the obvious criminal fraud that is going on.
        Regards
        Julian

        • Mama E says:

          I have used CEMs before as a form of medication for me and my kids, then I stopped when I started buying raw honey from locals in Davao City thru my mother. My only problem is I want to know if the honey given to me is really raw and not pasteurised,or not fake. Sometimes I doubt the authenticity of what I get as I also sell some of them to my friends and neighbors. sometimes I get too sweet or sometimes ,sour. I guess the sour ones has fermented already. Is there any way I can let FDA test the honey delivered to me?

      • jay says:

        hi chona we have a pure wild honey from leyte 250 per bottle 355ml (C2 bottle)

        • Gina says:

          Hello Jay,
          May I know how I can get hold of your honey product? I live in Manila. I’m using honey as medicine for my child and I was a victim of this CEM. So it seems that I’m giving sugar to my child

          • Julian says:

            We have no honey for sale at present since we only have enough for friends and family.

          • Maru says:

            Gina, you can order from http://www.ilogmaria.com/.

            You can also buy from Human Nature. https://humanheartnature.com/

            The 2nd might not have it in their websites but they have coco honey and they have raw honey in their stores. Go to chat support to request for details how to order their honey. (Their main office is near my house so it’s readily accessible)

            If you live in Manila, you can buy from Sessou outlets. They carry different brands of reputable organic products and they have honey.

  2. Steven Schmidler says:

    This is cane syrup in my opinion. It all is on the shelves here in Dumaguete as far as I can tell in all the products that we have tried. Of course Negros Island is one of the main sugar cane producers in the Philippines so that makes sense but there appear to be no labeling laws or enforcement of any norms either.

  3. Rosalym T. Jasper says:

    To the producer of CEM’S Raw Unfiltered honey, please be so kind to be honest, if your honey is not produced by the bee, donot use the word “Honey”. Thank you.

    • Gayle says:

      I used to buy this stuff back when I was on a Paleo vibe. Cem’s honey tasted weird. Their “raw” honey tasted like an adulterated corn syrup which was repulsive and radically different from the taste of Sue Bee’s raw variety (although I initially thought that the source may be the issue, meh). I switched to another brand from SNR when I randomly ended up there. Their “raw” honey brand, although a bit different from Sue Bee’s raw, it was A LOT better and more “honey-like” (whatever that means). It’s a bit pricey, but it seems to be worth it compared to Cem’s cheap price and equally cheap tasting “honey”.

      Now that I ran out of supply, I became lazy and bought another bottle of this god-forsaken honey brand (I don’t even know why I bothered). I noticed that what was once labelled as simply “raw and wild”, it is now labelled as “raw and wild brand”, which makes me believe further that this isn’t real honey and just a play of labeling and what not. This is BS “honey” with a BS marketing tactic of a BS company with BS customer service.

      Total BS.

  4. Gulliver Santos says:

    Hi! I’m a local backyard beekeeper here in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. Even us here in Palawan has no idea where their source of honey. Thanks for this blog. This is the first one that I come across discussing ’bout Cem honey. I hope it’s ok to spread/share this article in protest to Cem Food Products.

    • Julian says:

      Hi Gulliver, I have done a lot of research on the Cem honey situation, and the article is based on the facts established so far. There is much more information I could post, but really it should be the Food and Drugs Administration that takes responsibility for ensuring that the public is protected from this fraud. Cem are fully aware of this article, but they just will not provide honest information on the source or the ingredients of its products to either its retailers or consumers. It seems that the situation will only improve if more people are prepared publically to ask for justice from the FDA and also to inform the supermarkets that this fraud is unacceptable.

      • Butch M. says:

        Since I read this fraud in honey of the said brand, I have no choice but to patronize imported Aussie brands. Julian if I may ask, since your exposè on this brand, were you dogged with lawsuits? If not, then this brand is really a fraud since they can’t substantiate the authenticity of their product.

        • Julian says:

          CEM have threatened me with lawyers but no action has been brought by them.

          CEM have not responded during the past year to any of the allegations against them!

          The FDA appears to have withdrawn their licence, yet they continue to trade!

          As yet the FDA do not appear to be able or willing to tackle this crime.

    • Julian says:

      Hi Gulliver, Just realized that I forgot to say it is fine to spread/share the article to friends etc. It is only when many more people appreciate the situation that things might change for the better. There will be more posts on the CEM honey fraud fairly soon.

  5. Noel Callorina says:

    I guess the trend in effectively bringing your concerns to the government is through the “media” try Imbestigador or T3 of Tulfo Brothers.

    • Julian says:

      Hi Noel, thank you for your good suggestions. I will explore the options of contacting these shows. TV in the Philippines maybe is the most effective way of raising awareness of these issues.

      • Leticia Remo says:

        You can also try bringing this issue to the attention of Ted Failon, the fearless radio/TV broadcaster of DZMM Teleradyo. I’m sure he will investigate this and hound the proper authorities.

  6. Allen says:

    Just today; I was curious about their brand and why they are so cheap as compared to other brands (I already bought a bottle); and this raises my suspicions. I couldn’t find an ingredient list and I’m now worrying that what I perceived to be a healthier alternative isn’t.

  7. Emma Cruz says:

    I have no idea but I keep buying this brand of honey. But I felt about the label “Unfiltered”. Its kind of imposible in my opinion and its like a melted sugar form.

    • Julian says:

      It is impossible that the great many tons of Cem syrup being sold as ‘honey’ on the country’s supermarket shelves is actually bee honey from the Philippines. It is so very sad that government departments such as the FDA and the Philippine supermarkets are content to take part in this fraud of the Philippine people, since it is easy for them to ignore the fact that this situation is damaging the nation’s agriculture by disguising the reality of the Philippine’s disappearing bees needed for pollination. The situation also exists due to poor science education in schools and by the media etc. Foreigners looking at the situation can more easily recognize the tragic situation than can most Philippine people.

      • Andre Ignoul says:

        i also did buy CEM honey a few times in SM Consolacion here on Cebu. I didn’t get the impression that it was really honey, surely not pure honey. And about the last bottle i did buy, when i took it out of the cabinet here at home, i suddenly noticed that a lot of ants were drifting in the bottle with the “honey”. I don’t know where they came from, and how they got inside, and if they already were in the bottle when i bought it in SM supermarket. I myself always close bottles immediately after using and whenever i notice an ant on the table, it is killed, because i find it very disgusting.
        Anyway, if ants like honey, it is surely not pure and raw, but mixed with sugar. Ants don’t touch really pure raw honey, because only sugar attracts them.

  8. elizabeth aguilar says:

    hi julian! i was an avid buyer of the sue bee honey but last night i can’t find my brand in sm supermarket aura store so i was opt to buy the cem’s dark amber honey and hope it is a genuine but i was wrong. the taste is so different from that of sue bee and ambrosia. i am hoping that through this article and the comments here, major supermarkets like sm and puregold will also back up their consumers by selling only the best for their buyers. thank you for writing this and i am sorry i read it too late.

    • Julian says:

      Hi Elizabeth. Genuine 100% bee honey like Sue Bee from the USA has a smooth pleasant taste, but the taste of Cem ‘honey’ is often described as having an ‘unpleasant sourness’. Hopefully, the many supermarkets such as SM, Puregold, Lees, Robinsons and others that stock this fraudulent ‘honey’ will begin to appreciate the moral and other issues, but probably the supermarkets will only become aware of this when the FDA finally take action against honey fraud.

    • edelyn de guzman says:

      I totally agree that CEM is a fraud producer/supplier of authentic honey. I just bought a long neck bottle of their product and it tastes so different (sour). How come SM supermarket let this happened. They are endangering the lives of the consumers.

      • The reason it is in the supermarket shelves is that they are all owned by Chinese, who do not give a damn about you, your country or your wellbeing. They are here to financially RAPE YOU and it is a simple as that!
        There is so much fraud going on…
        Cems is just small fry…
        Markes of Canada is a big one! Deception, false advertising and fraud are the keymarks here and all the supermarkets are in cohoots with their Chinese friends…
        God help the poor Philippines is all I can say!

  9. Emerson S. Ocial says:

    i bought this honey yesterday and this morning i tasted it and seems taste diffirent..i usually use honey for sweetener but this honey gets hardened firmed like a fluid sugar gets cold that hard to dissolve in water unlike pure honey which easily melt away.I doubt this isnt natural nor healthy one.

    • Julian says:

      Normal bee honey has about 17 to 20% water plus a range of sugars and other complex natural microcomponents. CEM ‘honey’ has a simple sugar mix, some unnatural chemicals and often relatively little water so the syrup will taste and behave differently to 100% genuine bee honey.

    • Vin says:

      “unlike pure honey which easily melt away” ?
      Check this out > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIROuMdWNxY

      • Julian says:

        Hi Vin, Many of the simple tests I’m afraid would not detect the type of fraudulent honey by CEM, because it is a glucose and fructose mix with a low amount of water. However, CEM does not have the complex construction in 100% genuine bee honey, and this can be shown by a comprehensive chemical analysis.

  10. hossam says:

    How can I get the honey natural forests ?

    • Julian says:

      There are genuine honey suppliers in the Philippines, and some with websites. I expect they will inform you exactly where their honey comes from.

      • Ricky B. Suarez says:

        Hi Julian! I saw Ana’s Raw and Pure Honey in the internet and the site claims that they take their honey from Batangas. Have you touched on this company? Is it legitimate? I’m in search for an honest to goodness raw honey that I can buy in Manila. Can you refer me to one? How about Ilog Ni Maria? Kind of pricey though.

        Thank you.

        Ricky

        • Julian says:

          Hi Ricky, Ana’s website is quite informative with good contact details, and so it is very likely that their honey is what they say it is. Ilog Ni Maria has a good reputation and an informative website.
          (The fraudsters like CEM will usually will not provide any information on websites etc.)

  11. Alex says:

    Hi Julian! There is one that I bought in Puregold in Tondo, Manila labeled as Palawan Honey Queen bottled and distributed by AES JESSAN ENTERPRISES located in Valenzuela City. I have not tasted a genuine honey yet. This was my second purchase. With the description posted here about the taste and behavior when mixed with water, it seems like they are similar with CEM. And it is cheap, too. Shame on me for not doing a research before buying. And I didn’r believe my friend when she said they are fake until I came across your article. Thanks for providing us this great info! God bless you!

    • Lolo says:

      Hi Alex,
      We always bought the same brand. This time my asawa told me, that it looks and taste like they mixed it with a lot of sugar. The rest in the bottle become very sticky. I made some test described here:
      http://www.wikihow.com/Verify-the-Purity-of-Honey
      I am convinced they cheated us. It’s the same fraud like CEM does. There’s no list of ingredients and no contact #. Of course no website. I am such angry. My wife and me try to avoid to consume to much industrial sugar, and then this…We throw away the bottle and will not buy it again. These “producers” are really criminals. Recently I learned that Diabetis is really a big problem in this country and the victims becoming younger and younger…Shame on the philippine FDA.
      Keep with the good work, Julian!

  12. There is nothing disrespectful about shedding light on the truth and I also thank you for your work online.
    I keep reading the labels on CEM bottles looking for disclosure whether sugar or honey and it is a mystery, isn’t it? For CEM to NOT disclose their sources is all the proof of guilt I need.
    I think CEM should not only be forced to do honest labeling but also heavily fined for profiting by intentional deceit. Secondly, government officials who clearly turn their back on the people they are paid to protect should be punished.
    When the law is working, people fear doing business dishonestly.
    Thanks again for your work.

  13. Ire says:

    I just currently used this product. Using this on my purpose, i find it very effective. As it is indicated in the bottle. It is premium quality. It only means, this has passed a processing stages to achieve premium quality that is why it can be different from others. I understand about the intention of we want the best quality that we buy and real source. But like me, I am trying to make my own product and as to how I make it or what its content, I likewise, have no intention or wish to divulge it as much as possible especially here in the Philippines where people just copy other people’s discovery or product or work. First of all, I am also concern if the writer of this post, is not a competitor of the product or has plan to become one. If you are really serious about your complaints, then its correct according to CEM’s to meet them personally and find it for yourself what you want to know or confirm only that…you will be liable for damages once you find yourself in the wrong side. To discredit them in this manner because you cannot get what you want is immature and unprofessional. If there are better honey and real honey in the store, people can make a choice. You will know if its not or if its honey, then don’t buy if you think its not.

    • Julian says:

      Thank you for your comment, which I have read carefully. I have tried to ensure that everything on this website is based on the best information available.

      Genuine honey is made by bees and this fact has been known for all of human history. There is no ‘discovery or product or work’ to copy if CEM is trading in genuine bee honey. If CEM has ‘discovery or product or work’ to hide this would indicate that they are guilty of honey fraud.

      I respect your opinion but CEM have had every opportunity to provide sourcing information on their products, but will not do so. I have offered twice to meet CEM management personally in Manila just this last October, but they would not reply.

      I am mostly concerned about falling crop yields and poor rural incomes because of the decline in native honeybees, and am trying to encourage beekeeping. CEM have no interest whatsoever in ‘beekeeping’, but just want to make money by their own methods whilst pretending that their products are from bees – in other words by deliberate and ‘professional’ fraud.

      The industrial scale fraudulent distortion of the honey market by CEM is making the ‘pollination crisis’ worse in the Philippines which damages the livelihoods for millions of people.

    • I guess you are Chinese right?
      I have maple syrup and also honey from Cems. and cant seem to be able to get hold of them.
      Furthermore, on their products are no contact numbers, which means that they have something to hide.
      Their products are FAR from being natural or real and they are committing huge fraud here, false advertising and so much more it is disgusting!

  14. jim says:

    BFAD may conduct laboratory testing upon request if the CEM honey is adulterated

    • Julian says:

      Hi Jim,
      I hope that the FDA conduct comprehensive tests on many samples, as part of their investigation.
      It would not be sufficient just to test for glucose and fructose contents, but the tests need to determine sucrose, maltose and other components that distinguish bee honey from adulterated honey.

  15. francois Gouttes says:

    Hello friends,
    I just arrived from Brazil where we have excellent honeys … but also lots of sugarcane syrup … that are labelled as such.
    I bought honey here in Siquijor form a so-called “naturopathic shop”. I noticed even before tasting that it was not honey. I brought it back and they refunded me .. but the honey is probably still on the shelves
    Then I went to Robinsons in Dumaguete and bought a “honey” in a nice bottle, from CEM’s. I am convinced this is not honey.
    I am astounded to read here that no action can be legally taken against these criminal crooks. Yes, I say criminals. Because honey is taken by many people as a medicine. Poisoning weak people with such a crap while pretending that is is good for health is criminal.
    I shall fight them as much as I can. Whoever will start any kind of action will find my suppirt.

    • Charles Robbie says:

      I need honey as part of my diet and medication.
      Every time I ate this garbage, I felt sick.

      • Julian says:

        Hi Charles,
        Hopefully the FDA will do the job they are paid for and properly investigate CEM and the other fraudsters, so that the Philippine people can trust the food in the supermarkets.
        Regards
        Julian

  16. Ricko says:

    Julian, thank you very much for exposing this. When my mother noticed that I am using this cems prime brand honey as a sweetener, she tasted it and told me its just a sugar, considering she’s been cooking in an eatery for the last 40 years. Diabetes and Hypertension runs through our family and relatives, the reason I became health conscious. But sad to say Government agencies like the FDA/DA/DTI are negligent in their duty in protecting the welfare of Filipino consumers. Its good to know that a foreigner like you informs us of the danger of fake honey products proliferating in the market. I do hope you seek the help of an International Agency like WHO and the US FDA, in advising the PH Government about the dangers to health of consuming fake honey. I do some googling and I found out that this CEMS is most probab;y a Chinese operated company, and its possible that their so-called honeys also came from China, which are banned in the US and most of Europe.

  17. francois Gouttes says:

    Thanks to Ricko, Julian, and all honest people defending the right of information and true labelling of our food products.
    I am back to Robinson’s mall in Dumaguete. I returned the bottle of CEM crap. Since I lost the bill, I cannot get a refund. Anyway, I left the bottle with tham at the customer service and ask them to forward my conplaint and remove these craps from their shelves before they get in trouble. I also informed them that the FDA was (supposedly???) investigating the subject.
    I encourage all of you who read this blog to support the action of julian, to complain about CEM products by your supermarket or grocery’s customer service.
    The small waves must become a tsunami of protests against these crooks, that must end up with some reaction of exasperation from their customer.
    Personally, this is what I say to the customer service : ” I have nothing against sugarcane syrup or any kind of sweetener, as long as your customers like it … it is OK, must it must be labelled for what it is … and CEM syrup is neither honey, nor wild, nor pure, nor Pilipino, as they pretend !!!

  18. eulogio rosales says:

    cem’s honey is a product of china and they are fooling the filipino people by telling us that it’s philippine honey. so don’t buy cem’ honey.

  19. Francois Gouttes says:

    Hi julian,
    I have read attentively all your post, all comments, the evidences, the messages from CeM and FDA.
    It is a bit surrealistic. You talk about apes mellifera with CEM ,.. just looking at their replies you understand they have nothing to do with bees and honeys. They probably have never seen a bee in their life and do not care anyway.
    I know the dramatic situation that bee keepers are facing in Europe, the climatic changes added to the out of control use – should say abuse- of insecticides, supposedly “bees compatible”, are causing a genocide … in France the production of honey decreases year after year and top quality products like lavender, heather or black fir honey, among others, might simply disappear in a near future. We know that, but let us come back to the filipino earth … CEM do not care about honey and bees, this is not their problem. Their business is to abuse Filipinos, taking advantage of the lack of knowledge and consumer habits in this country. A European can usually see w/o testing that it is fake, just by the smell, because we have a long tradition of consuming quality honeys. Thousands of Filipinos sincerely believe, every day, that they are buying honey when they buy CEM syrup.
    Your attempt to discuss with CEM is admirable., but dangerous … you are innocent to think that they invite you for offering bribes .. they want more probably to eliminate you physically once you get out of their premises, simulating a car accident or so … these people are dangerous, it is a mafia that might even be linked to the Chinese mafia or drug traffic. I advise you never accept such invitation.
    The best we can do is inform and inform again our Filipino friends, claim both in the customer services of our stores and by mail, claim with the FDA, again and again, until we get some result.
    I would advise you therefore to publish the email addresses of all your mail sent or received so that we can all support your action by directly mailing FDA and the supermarkets .. if it is a problem for you to make these emails public … you can send them privately to whoever wants to support your action .. my email is fgouttes@yahoo.com.au.
    Hope to hear from you soon, and thanks again.
    Again, to whoever wants to support the action initiated by Julian, I think it is important to mention in our claim that our aim is not to eliminate one product or one brand from the market, but only to have the right labels on the products !!!

    • Julian says:

      Hi Francois,
      The potential dangers of annoying unscrupulous fraudsters was something I and my family were concerned about. It is understandable why many people in the Philippines are wary, since there are many cases where such ‘accidents’ have been known to occur. I am not accusing CEM of such activity, but it is another reason why I have tried to stick to the facts as they were known and to ensure that every opportunity and time was allowed for CEM to present their case or adjust their trading methods.
      By putting the information honestly out in the public domain, it becomes beholden on the FDA to do the job they are paid for. CEM and other honey fraudsters should not worry about individuals such as me or you, but they need to worry now about their trading methods to the public and their retailers who are gradually becoming aware of the issues. How long can the retailers continue to stock honey they know is fraudulent? Unless CEM improve their trading methods, the situation will catch up with them at some point.
      Thank you for supporting the campaign for honesty in the honey trade.

  20. Lara says:

    Hi..i just want to know where i can buy the real thing here in Dumaguete especially locally produced honey. A friend of mine mentioned raw honey from Camiguin ..any thoughts?

    • Julian says:

      As far as I know there are only two small-scale individual beekeepers in the Dumaguete area, who may produce enough honey to sell. Currently my relatives near Dumaguete have not built up enough colonies to sell commercially.
      You can buy genuine Philippine honey on-line from several sources, but I believe that Camiguin is not one of them. Look for websites that provide full information, since these are most likely genuine suppliers.

  21. shana says:

    Don’t buy this product because it has cane sugar added on it. I bought the unfiltered one at the Gaisano Mall Supermarket. I was enticed because of its affordable price and nice packaging. However, before I used it, I did an experiment to check if it is really pure. I poured a small quantity of it on a tablespoon. Thereafter, I turned on my stove and heat the tablespoon with the alleged honey for about 5 minutes. Much to my surprise, it turned dark brown and smelt like a sugar being burnt. Then, I removed th spoon from the stove and poured water on the purported honey. Regretably, it caramelized.

  22. Llechera Sollar says:

    oh my gosh.Cem’s is the brand that im using.Its actually is my first time to buy honey.I bought the Cem’s Honey Raw wild in Robinson.I’m not going to buy the cem’s Honey brand again.THANK YOU SO MUCH for the info Mr julian.GODbless you :)

  23. anne says:

    i just bought cems honey raw wild today at the supermarket along with the cinnamon..i have fertility problem and i read that both of this helps me in this problem…oh my god..is it really fake? i havent taste real honey in my whole life so i dont know the taste of it..i havent open yet the cems honey..i told to myself i have to search first the ingredients of this product until i found this blog..thank u for posting this..well..i think i have to thrioow it away

    • Julian says:

      Hi Anne,
      There are beekeepers in the Philippines who sell genuine honey from bees, so you can taste the difference. They will have informative websites (unlike Cem) and will show you the beehives etc. Several of them will send honey in the post.
      Best wishes
      Julian

  24. Douglas Hanna says:

    I live in Cagayan de Oro, and I used to love the taste of honey, but the honey that is in the supermarkets here is not honey. I have found at least growing up in the US and travelling to many other countries that when you taste honey you also taste where it came from. Case in point, get a bottle of honey like Sue Bee, which in the US is not considered very good honey either (mainly because there are beekeepers where you can buy your honey from with the comb as well) but, when you taste Sue Bee or any actual honey you can taste clover, orange (the two that seem to be popular here). I have to believe that that the supermarket honey such as CEM is just corn or cane syrup, it just tastes like sugar and I also believe that they add dyes or tints to make it darker for the raw dark honey, which actually tastes just like their unfiltered and other honey products. I do find it funny that their unfiltered is clear.

  25. olin says:

    Oh no! I just bought a CEMS Honey. Thanks for the information…

  26. kim says:

    hello guys can you provide real products of honey bee in the philippines so i can buy the real one tnx:)

    • Julian says:

      Hi Kim,
      There are quite a few genuine beekeepers in PI who have informative websites about their honey, and who will also send honey by email.
      I am not wanting to endorse any particular products or beekeepers, since I am trying to be unbiased. If you do a search on Google for ‘beekeepers in the Philippines’ there are quite a few links including a slightly out of date pin map at https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?oe=UTF8&ie=UTF8&msa=0&mid=zBgx89iOxxvs.k4TSjEO41yCc

      You will notice that CEM is not listed as having anything to do with bees in the PI, despite apparently being the largest ‘honey’ supplier in the country! Hopefully this obscene situation will be appropriately tackled by the FDA investigation.

      Best wishes
      Julian

      • Hi Julian,
        Indeed the map is a bit outdated. Need to work on that. I made it a couple of years back. CEM ofcourse should never be on this map like you rightly mention , totally nothing to do with Philippine beekeepers. They do not contribute in any sence towards a sustainable industry !

  27. Jin says:

    Hi Julian,

    Thank you for this informative blog. I recently bought cem which labeled raw honey, mixed it in my coffee and it tastes like garbage. Far from what they claim to be, its a bit sour & taste like caramelized sugar. I’ve been wanting to replace sugar for honey for some health reasons. It’s clearly fraud & misleading products that procure health problems in the long term. I just wondered why this kind of fraud makes it thru our shelves. Labeling its a Filipino products damages the credibility of honey industry in our country as a whole. I purchase the product because I believed in our local produce. Also want to support your cause in providing everyone what they should know about this fraudulent act. Will send email in fda as well and spread it in my feeds. Thanks and keep it up.

  28. Henry Valencia says:

    I would like to give all you honey consumers an advice on how to find genuine honey, it is really hard to prove if bottled honey from supermarkets are really pure or not. My advice is for you to find a local beekeeper in your area where his/her apiary is located. There you can ask for honey which is locally produced. Usually honey produced locally only undergoes the process of filtration by using a sifter which is used in baking. Locally produced honey is usually unheated to maintain its purity ( vitamins and minerals) and it usually contains bits of pollen, wax etc. Locally produced honey is harvested in a very strict sanitary process by using simple machines in squeezing out honey from combs til’ bottling. Unlike wild honey from wild bees in the forest they harvest the honey by using bare hands in squeezing out the honey which i find unsanitary.

  29. Therese says:

    any update on the Cem’s fake honey?

    • Julian says:

      I am waiting still for the FDA to reply to my emails. Either the FDA email system is not working properly or they are just ignoring the emails.
      It looks like I will need to phone and try to speak directly to the officials at the FDA to see what’s happening!?
      Cheers
      Julian

  30. nila says:

    i bought a real honey made by wild bees from UPLB bioscience bldg….real one. I hope UPLB can supply their product in some leading supermarkets.

  31. arnan deleon says:

    buy the more expensive organic raw unprocessed wild honey from the mamumuhag (honey hunters and gatherers) themselves that live in the sierra madre and has a house in quezon city. He leads tribal honey hunters from different dumagat and ilongot tribes in the sierra madre mountain range. I personally saw the containers of wild honey and when it is being transferred to a different food grade container, the thing just bubbled up like it was overflowing. After the container was tighly closed, the miniature bubbles still overflowed. its a characteristic of newly harvested wild honey. The BFD has tested his wild honey and it passed the test. now he is about to supply to a food manufacturing/processing plant that dehidrates the honey and mixes it with energy drinks/food products. His cp# is 09334019888

    • florence says:

      try from morong bataan, they allowed to taste their hiney. i bought it at glorietta for their exhibit. its pure honey. its indicated their contact number at the bottle 09175649249/09083974010

  32. Ado says:

    thanks a lot for bringing up this article. this is very very helpful!

    i never ever buy any honey product sold by Cem. Or any other local honey product that is suspiciously cheap found in the supermarket’s shelves. i’ve been using honey for a while now, mainly for my tea. i also use it as an energy boosting sports drink (water+honey mixture) when training for a marathon or mtb enduro racing. ever since i only buy either of these two products; wescobee (australian) or suebee (u.s.) depending on the availability. but i like wescobee honey more. however, if you know any other honey product that’s better than the two mentioned above. please let me know… tnx!

  33. eliz says:

    I do think that this honey (cems) is not a genuine honey. The reason why I’m in this site is I doubt the authenticity of this brand 1. Because it doesn’t taste like honey, it tastes more like molten sugar, the ones used as caramel for flans. 2. It hardens when refrigerated. 3. It’s cheaper than usual honeys. I’ve tasted many different brands of honey and they all taste the same. Cems honey is the only honey that taste like that.

  34. JudgeDredd says:

    Maybe SM should be the one held responsible for allowing the circulation of this products or Maybe they are the one who produces this product and only invented a company the don’t really exist. as far as i know some big-time supermarkets don’t just sell products that are not properly labeled and has bogus BFAD approval!!!!!

  35. Che says:

    Report niyo po sa imbestigador ng gma7

  36. Rudy Kintanar says:

    The discussion about honey is interesting.
    We should focus on that and keep it active in Social Media.
    And we can involve Lawyers to make and file a case in court to settle the questions on Honey & the Philippine FDA ‘s Role in providing Filipinos Real Honey.
    Julian we can join hands. You have my email.
    Rather than: NATO – No Action Talk Only.

  37. Viktor says:

    Just bought this CEM honey. I cant even taste a slight flavour of honey. Its like a syrup. I should have bought the american brand.

  38. Allie says:

    I found this post when I googled it after also being scammed by Cem’s fake honey. The “Cem’s prime honey” bottle actually contains what appears to be sugar cane syrup that is sour and has gone bad.

    Guys, don’t just complain here. The company will continue to make money off bilking consumers. Send in a report to the DTI. If enough people report it, they will have to take action and investigate thoroughly.

    Consumer Protection and Advocacy Bureau (CPAB)
    2F Trade and Industry Building
    361 Sen. Gil J. Puyat Ave.
    Makati City, Philippines 1200
    Telephone: (+632) 751.3233
    Fax: (+632) 890.4949
    E-mail: cpab@dti.gov.ph

  39. Sheila May says:

    I also bought Cems “honey” before and when I tasted it I thought that it tasted like thickened simple syrup. I now buy Wescobee’s wild forest Honey.

  40. Cassie says:

    My father uses this CEMS brand.
    He drinks a shot of these combination: apple cider vinegar (heinz), garlic, ginger and cems honey.
    I keep on telling him he should use organic acv and honey but he keeps on insisting its expensive and those (heinz and cems) are ones available in the market, and obviously less expensive. Also told him he will not get any health benifits from those two. He gets mad everytime I tell him we should buy organic ones.

    Im still looking for shops/places within Muntinlupa and Las Pinas area to buy organic acv and honey

  41. Eric Conrad says:

    Hi Julian, check the image posted by a blogger. https://buttonholephotographs.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/0202.jpg?w=593 An exact pure honey that i bought from the mall yesterday. It cost me 122 pesos. I did the 3 test to see if the honey is pure by following the steps in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIROuMdWNxY

    Step 1, 2 and 3: PASSED!

    However, I would like to know your thought about this pure honey?

    Thank,
    Eric Conrad

    • Julian says:

      Hi Eric,
      The ‘tests’ shown on the YouTube clip do not truly test for ‘pure bee honey’. Fake honey in the supermarkets is cheaply made inverted sucrose and has a mix of fructose and glucose which is a syrup that will pass the ‘tests’ shown in the clip.
      Honey produced by bees has a mix of fructose and glucose AND also many other important micro-components that would have to be tested for by a chemical analysis.
      Best regards
      Julian

      • Eric conrad says:

        Thanks Julian. What is your advice? Ditch it? Will it elevate my blood sugar if i consume it? Its taste sweet. Damn! I just cant find any information about the company who made it on the internet. They have a local number though…

  42. Pierre says:

    Being in the food business, I did contact Cem 4 years ago, as I wanted to buy samples. They did agree and went to their “office” or “warehouse” in Mandaluyong. The place was almost impossible to find, no street number on the door, nor Cems or any company sign. Had to call them several times. Then when at the gate , they literally opened the door by 20cm just for the bottles to go through. That was it ! no “hello” or any discussion was possible. I found it very very strange, a typical attitude of someone that has sthg to hide. Then I tried the various honey and understood…. I never tried again……

    • Julian says:

      Thanks Pierre for this helpful information.
      I agree with you about the whole nature of the Cem operation.
      There is ample evidence of their fraudulent and criminal activity, yet the authorities in the Philippines seem almost disinterested in actually doing anything about it, despite the damage done to consumers and indirectly to agriculture as a result of poor pollination.
      Julian

  43. gerana says:

    Im so disappointed after reading everythng about cems. Im actually tryng to find out if cems is a real honey or not… I should have trust my instinct that its NOT 😢. I get tired easily, back pain and stressed face after consuming one bottle in 1 month. Im gonna tell everyone about this. 😵

  44. Tony says:

    Hi Julian,
    This is the first time I heard about CEM honey. Thanks for this information. it makes us more careful in buying honey.
    I started as a hobby home beekeeping in Nov 2015 and we harvested 11 liters last May 2 from 11 frames. We have 3 colonies.
    Now we are certain what we are consuming is real honey. Some we will give to our neighbors as first produce, some we’ll sell. What is the range of selling price of real and pure honey?
    By the way, is there a law prohibiting urban beekeeping. Our colonies is in our home front yard in a subdivision in Cebu.
    Thank you very much
    Tony

    • Julian says:

      Sorry I don’t know if there is any Philippine law about urban beekeeping, but there are beekeepers who live in urban areas such as Cebu,

  45. Glenn says:

    Is highland bounty honey bee pure honey or not?

    • Julian says:

      Hi Glenn,

      I don’t know this brand. You would need to check with the producers.
      Have they got a website with information, can they show you their bees, taste and analysis etc.
      Cheers
      Julian

  46. nald rigor says:

    I bought Cems Honey just last week, I bought it even though the price is doubtfully cheap. As expected , Cems Honey is a big disappointment. The taste is so awful, it is like burnt sugar,bitter & sour, nothing more nothing less.I have tasted real honey before so I know whats real & whats fake. In my own opinion, big supermarkets like SM & robinsons supermarket should pullout this product because it carries false claims, the said “honey” also claims that their honey came from ” the finest forest of Palawan”, “raw & wild” etc. What they do is they try to confuse the consumers. Damn this company for thinking about nothing but profit.

  47. Spikey says:

    I’m pretty sure now that our new Pressie Mr. Duterte would KNOW about this…and let us see what will happen to fraudulent food products like this CEM honey in big supermarkets. This is one big criminality issue…selling fake produce, false marketing, robbing the people “good health”, robbing the local beekeepers “good wealth”, and putting the entire country in a “bad light”…tsk, tsk, tsk….ATTENTION: MR. PRESIDENT RUDY DUTERTE.

    “God forgive CEM as they do not know what they are doing…”

  48. jill says:

    hi, would you know if the honeys sold in batangas- they are normally sold coming from pails/balde and the vendors scoop them using ‘tabo’- are safe to be consumed? I read almost all that is posted here in your article but there isnt anything mentioned about honey sold by vendors from Batangas or Sariaya, Quezon. I’m just curious if you are anything privy about this. Salamat.

  49. Cedric says:

    Well. Fuck. My CEM honey bottle is already half empty. I’ll throw it immediately.

  50. cookie cupit says:

    I think FDA already have a public warning regarding CEMs Honey issued last July 7, 2016 through their website. As per bulletin, the said brand of Honey is not registered at FDA and that local government units are mandated to exercise their regulatry function to ensure that this brand is not sold in the market.

    However I still see a lot of Hems Honey bottle in major supermarkets.

  51. Net Chavez says:

    Can I atleast return & get a refund of this CEM’s brand Honey to an SM supermarket where I bought it? It smells like the arnibal from the Leche flan. Lol! I want an authentic pure honey.

  52. Adi says:

    I buy my honey at UPLB Bio Sci. Pricey but authentic and sanitary.

  53. Dr Russell Cunning says:

    It isn’t honey at all. It’s cane sugar syrup, known in Australia as ‘Golden Syrup’. It is interesting to note that you can’t buy cane sugar syrup – because it’s all being labelled as ‘honey’.

  54. miming muning says:

    wow! at CEMs honey!!?! good thing i didn’t bought this and chose sue honey instead! as much as iam pro to buying Philippine product than imported ones, i was really skeptical bcoz there’s no much information on the label. and prang may iba sa consistency hmmmm… thankyou for posting this article. a lot of us were enlightened! hayy! also im eyeing now on ilog ni maria. but need pa sadyain yung products nila jeje. hoe they can produce more in the future :)

  55. naresh kumar says:

    I am naresh kumar hiryana sa hu. We have bee boxes and some quality of honey for sale in India. Mob. 9416993559

  56. MVargas says:

    Thank you so much for this information. I have been very doubtful of the CEM’S brand because leading supermarket shelves are full of them and with a lot of varieties for a low price. I myself do not know or rather forgot the taste of real honey, but I really do want to get my hands on real Philippine honey for its health benefits.
    I have a feeling that it is impossible to find 100% Pure Philippine honey in leading (chinese owned) supermarkets (like SM, Robinson’s & Puregold) so I guess we should stay away from those. It may not be as convenient but I think it will be worth our time and money to search for and purchase from local bee farms, even the small ones, in the provinces. Its also a way of supporting our own products and our fellow Filipinos.

    Its really hard to tell these days which products are really Philippine products. We should take note of the manufacturers and company names, and who owns it..take time to do your own research. Even some “Buy Pinoy” logos have chinese-looking “symbols” on them.

  57. Pam says:

    I just purchased CEM Honey Vinegar Apple Cider at Robinson’s Mall in our place. At the back of its label is FDA No. CFRR- NCR-FM-4793 and the company’s email add: cems.gen@gmail.com. Why does a credible mall/ supermarket like Robinsons continue to display such?

  58. Neil says:

    I purchased the product (Cem’s Honey Prime Brand) and has been using it for so many ways for about a week now, until I read this article. Now that I’ve learned that the real source and contents of this product still undetermined. I wonder if this would threatened my health in the future?

  59. Jim says:

    Julian:
    Thanks for warning about CME honey. I used to buy it at Robinson supermarket in Cebu. They stopped stock it few months ago. Now I know why.

    I found a honey product at Rustain super market in Ayala, Cebu city.
    What is your opinion about “PURE HONEY, Camiguin Island, R.U.S. Food trading” honey? (I wish I can post photo here but I don’t know how?)
    It is selling for P90/375ml bottle. Almost same price as CME. And far below price than other HONEY products.

    PURE HONEY, Camiguin Island, R.U.S. Food trading is thinner than CME and more expensive honey products. So I performed honey test, mixing with water. PURE HONEY, Camiguin Island, mixes with water very easily which makes me think it is NOT real honey.

    I mainly use it to mix with fresh squeeze Calamanci juice to make fresh Calamanci drinks.
    Maybe for my purpose PURE HONEY, Camiguin Island, R.U.S. Food trading is fine even though it may NOT be real honey? Maybe it’s sugar cane syrup?
    What is your opinion?
    Thanks.
    p.s. Can you send me a reply to my email?

    • Julian says:

      Hi Jim,
      Robinsons does seem to be running down their Cem stocks, but really they should have stopped ages ago.

      The Camiguin honey is also very suspect. As the fraudsters do not want to provide their full contact details or any proof of origin, these people appear to be cooking up syrup too, and selling it below the price of genuine bee honey.

      Best regards
      Julian

  60. Led says:

    If you look at some of the CEM’s product, it is stated there that Honey Flavored syrup, emphasizing only the honey and making the other description in small letters.

    Been looking for the palawan honey queen but already gone? What happened to it, is it also a fraud?

  61. mizshel says:

    Yes. CEM HONEY IS A FAKE! I WILL NEVER BUY IT AGAIN. I hardens after a while at room temp. I was really planning to contact them and send pictures of their fake honey compared to the Honey that I bought in baguio last year which is still intact, no residue and does not harden like CEM’s Prime Fake Honey.

  62. SweetHoney says:

    I bought CEM “honey” because I want to support Pinoy industries. I was about to get my usual grocery brand when I noticed CEM and got that instead. Little did I know, it’ll be the biggest mistake of my sweet honey life. It tasted too sugary sweet with a hint of sourness. Ugh. Never gonna buy local honey from the supermarket.

    PS. We usually have a gallon or two of local raw honey at home but I resort to the imported ones at the supermarket when we run out.

    PSS. Let’s always support Pinoy products EXCEPT CEM!!!

  63. Dan Valenzuela says:

    I feel good that I am not the only one thinking that cems brand is not pure. This brand has been in supermarket shelves for a long time. It has a funny taste which doesnt taste like pure honey.

  64. anna says:

    Hi can i repost this? THanks….

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