Honey Fraud in Supermarkets Evidence 1.

In the public interest the following 3 posts contains actual emails which form part of the extensive range of evidence about the CEM ‘honey’ fraud.

How CEM lies to supermarkets to cover up the fraudulent CEM ‘honey’ operation.

Note: This post follows on from the articles…

Click on this link to open Evidence 1 email or click on the image below..Evidence 1 email

This is an email sent to a large supermarket retailer by CEM about the source of their ‘honey’ products.  The email contains several lies and also diversionary half-truths which are exposed below …

Lie 1: ‘we would like to make clear that our company fully support small bee farmers around the country where our honey is sourced from’.
Truth 1: No Philippine bee farmers supply CEM, and CEM do not ‘support’ any of them.

Lie 2: ‘our customers’ benefit is always top of mind etc’.
Truth 2:  As will be seen in the next post, CEM have a distain for their customers, have no website, no published contact number and no customer contact interface. CEM will not respond to customers (unless via a large retailer). This is because they run a fraudulent business and do not want their customers to know the truth.

Lies 3, 4 etc and diversionary half-truths: ‘The sourced honey then undergoes processes to make it viable for public use etc etc.’
Truths 3, 4 etc and other truths: Pure bee honey does not need to undergo the factory processes described. Why would a hard-working beekeeper allow his precious bee honey to be ruined by CEM and then sold under their label at a fraction of the price that a beekeeper could have obtained for his genuine honey?!  CEM is trying to confuse the retailer since the bulk of their product is factory-produced to try and simulate ‘genuine bee honey’. The bulk of CEM’s ‘commercial honey’ is essentially cheap industrially made fake honey which is sold to the public as genuine Philippine bee honey. (The chemicals used and the factory heating process produces the ‘sour’ taste often commented upon by customers. Genuine bee honey has a complex natural construction and a different taste which is not matched by CEM ‘honey’.)

Factual summary: CEM was essentially asked from where they sourced their ‘honey’, and they lied repeatedly to try and cover up their fraudulent operation.

(There is a large amount of email and other evidence including chemical analysis to back up this assertion. Other posts on ‘honey fraud’ also provide further information.)

This industrial site generates the CEM ‘honey’ productsEvidence 1 industrial site

CEM product2The truth is that CEM have no ‘bee farms’ and no Philippine beekeepers supply them with bee honey.  No Philippine bees are involved in the manufacture of CEM ‘honey’, despite the claim by CEM that they ‘fully support small bee farmers around the country where our honey is sourced from’.  Their labels are essentially another big lie. CEM will do almost anything to ‘avoid the truth’ and continue a fraud which cheat retailers and millions of customers.

Both CEM and the FDA have been sent copies of the information provided here, so that they have the maximum opportunity to comment on the details provided in these articles.

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

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

8 Responses to Honey Fraud in Supermarkets Evidence 1.

  1. Dear Julian,
    The beekeeping industry in the Philippines is being confronted with a lack of regulation as far as proper honey labelling is concerned. International standards could be implemented quite easily , no need to develop special ones for the Philippines. I discussed this during the last Agrilink with the people from BAFPS. They confirmed that beekeeping is not “yet” included in this program and may take another 2 years to complete. In the meantime this very questionable honey from the company you mentioned, but also by other people, look at the so called Camiguin honey and Bukidnon Honey being sold in plastic water bottles for very low prices, will continue.
    Of course the FDA should be on your list for comments. But indeed, if they are involved, they will not respond or react and keep the head in the sand until the storm is over. Other departments should be notified. Last week I brought it under the attention of Sec Alcala when I met him in Manila. He expressed his worries about it and instructed some people to have a serious look at it. He understands it is no use promoting beekeeping while fake honey practices are hampering the industry
    Firstly: The sad thing is that this practice seriously undermines the development for a more professional beekeeping industry. Serious beekeepers that are interested to invest are reluctant to do so as long as they see that fake honey is being sold cheap.
    Secondly: as a direct consequence, because there are less colonies due to the fact that beekeepers are reluctant to invest, there are less colonies available for pollination! Statistics show that some high value crops like Mangos produce up to 40% less then surrounding countries. Part of this can be directly linked to the lack of pollinators .
    Thirdly: People in the supermarket think they buy real honey. Especially people who buy this product thinking they are going to eat something healthy. While in fact, if the honey is fake, their health condition actually goes down because they do not take in real honey but something like sugarwater or canesyrup or whatever other cheap sugary substance is being used to make up this so called “honey”.
    So I suggest more action should be taken, some people are discussing about this in social media but real action is required and therefore we need to address this to a much wider public. Strategic action with results. If the allegations are correct then this is a very serious crime that has been going on for more then 30 years already.
    Maybe a taskforce should be formed to see in what way this can be achieved .

    • Julian says:

      Hi Evert. I absolutely agree with you on all counts. I hope that Philippine people who want to be able to trust the food they buy and understand that the country has a ‘pollination crisis’ will also add their comments. Beekeepers and potential beekeepers who object to the crime of honey fraud also need to offer their comments so that the FDA appreciate that the current abuse by CEM and other fraudsters is not acceptable.

  2. Lemmens raphael says:

    FYI We founded a real true large beekeeping project, to produce a pure high quality raw honey available to the public now. 3 years ago it’s started with agreement with Secr.Alcala, in a partnership with great companies as Bounty Fresh Food, A Dutch beekeeping company and with support of the Duch Government. We produce a large amount of pure raw honey in bukidnon and camiguin. Our company name is “Miel Internacional” (Miel means Honey) product name is Miel De Oro . About 50 people and families are invold in production of honey. We have large flower project to support our European honey bees. We serve with our bees for now a free pollination services, if we can make some honey to to support our project…we have about 11 000 kg in stock. you can order via office of Miel 09263724150 or 09175778286 .
    Market research years ago, said already that Filipino people are foul with all kind of fake honey in best super markets, it’s unbelievebel that it’s takes so many years before their is any action on that problem. Their is also a high evidence that artificial honey from China is imported into philippines. Including reject honey, wich contain high amount of chemicals.
    So please to protect and support our real true Filipino Beekeepers, don’t buy cheap fake honey, don’t buy wild honey ,because of pollination problems, farmers get less income. Because of Under production of crops. Because beekillings are going on,even in ereas where is already a ban on honey hunting
    Then on the other hand,this honey is also almost all mix up with sugar, molasses, tuba and others, what’s absolute not healthy and often harmful.
    It’s in hands of customers also, don’t look for cheap honey. Pure honey can not be produce on bottom prices. We need your support. As for now ,in the Philippines we have only a 6000 production hives under management of beekeepers,who wanted to serve you a high quality honey. Compare with Tawan has 400 ooo manage hives, Vietnam 2000 000 so we have a high potential if we have the support of Filipino people. More families should undergo beekeeping training.as another problem we face is that after intensive training, beekeepers going more individual-and looking for a job abroad, don’t support our Filippine beekeeping anymore.
    There is a big question mark?.. Why Vietnam ,Taiwan, s.korea have large beekeeping projects and high Agro export products because good pollinated crops, and we in the Philippines suffer low production in agriculture,only a small group of beekeepers and we import 95% of all bee products. So I believe Philippine beekeepers need your support, so we can set up a good beekeeping industry. So philippines go…. Stop the honey fraud, buy honey by local beekeepers or by real organize beekeeping projects. So you get your pure Filippine honey…

    Raphael lemmens

  3. Liv says:

    all of these posts contain great information in support of legit honeybee production in the Philippines, which is really great. but because consumers are not educated to know the difference between fake and pure/raw honey, thinking that what they buy at the supermarket, is real honey makes this effort a big fail.
    the demand for honey is high, so fraudulent honey makers create more fake honey. but if consumers can determine which’s fake and which’s real honey ( I mean not just on the label) but the quality of the honey- this will hopefully put the fake honey producers at bay.

    we consumers would just read the label, once it says pure/real/natural/raw then we buy it.
    please educate us: tell us the difference between a genuine honey and a fake one. we’d love to know for sure. I’ve seen some videos on youtube about how to test genuine honey vs. fake, but I found those unreliable, coz , I think the honey produced abroad was different from what we have locally (or not true)
    I’d love to hear from you guys

    • Julian says:

      Hi Liv,
      Taste is a good indicator. Genuine bee honey is deliciously smooth, often fragrant with a variety of tastes, colours and often not very ‘syrupy’. Factory produced fake honey often has a sour tasting element and is predictably quite ‘syrupy’ and the brown colour people ‘expect’.
      Another type of fake or adulterated honey is overly sweet tasting, since ordinary boiled sugar has been added. The fake honeys are essentially cheaply converted ordinary sucrose sugar and will not have the unique qualities that bee honey is renowned for.

      The difference comes from the complex and variable natural structure of bee honey which includes many minor components, compared to the simple sugar structure of fake honey which often includes lactic acid used in the synthesising process.

  4. Jeff says:

    Finally, there’s a current advisory from http://www.fda.gov.ph – FDA Advisory No. 2016-073 addressed to the general public, subject: “Public Health Warning Against the Use and Consumption of the Unregistered Cem’s Honey Being Distributed or Sold in the Market”

    In fact the said advisory emphasized, “…no Cem’s Honey product is registered with this Office.”

    You can download the pdf copy of this advisory at:

    Despite this advisory, I can still find Cem’s Honey being sold in the supermarket, particularly at SM Hypermarket.

  5. K says:

    I was one of those duped by this fake honey brand when my local organic store that I usually buy my honey from ran out of stock. The first taste I took, I knew it was fake, I couldn’t keep it in. Good thing the FDA came out with this advisory. I hope CEM’s owners are held accountable for endangering their consumers’ health. I also hope SM Baguio where I bought it from no longer have it on their shelves.

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