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Manuka Honey Scam

Did someone tell you that manuka honey could heal your infections and stomach ulcers?

And did YOU believe them? How much did the snakeoil cost you?

Coming soon …

In view of the fact that the varroa mite has decimated NZ honeybee population, what percentage of honey sold in New Zealand is

a. Real Honey (rather than sugar and other stuff)

b. Comes from New Zealand  (instead of being made in even less sanitary places)

c. Safe for Human Consumption  (you wouldn’t believe what they put in that stuff, never mind the snakeoil manuka properties!)

Meanwhile …

Concern about bee health

There is concern for the health of the honey bee. The National Beekeepers’ Association says New Zealand bees can no longer survive without human intervention.

Chief executive Jim Edwards says the bees are still reeling from the impact of the varroa mite. He says while we think of them as honey producers, they are in fact underpinning three billion dollars worth of income derived from the intensive pollination they provide in horticulture and agriculture. He wants to create a wider understanding of the importance of the honey bee, because they have a major impact on our primary sector.

Beekeepers admits selling poisoned honey

Tuesday Mar 03, 2009

A Whangamata beekeeper who today admitted selling honeycomb which inadvertently poisoned people will be sentenced in three weeks’ time.

The honey, which was sold in Whangamata on the Coromandel last Easter by Projen Apiaries, continued a poison, tutin, which made 22 people sick.

Kevin Prout pleaded guilty in Waihi District Court to four charges, three laid by the Food Safety Authority (FSA).

Three related to the sale of contaminated comb honey, and a fourth covered labelling of the honey.

FSA tests found the honey, marketed as “A Taste of Whangamata Pure Honey”, contained high levels of the toxic substances tutin and its derivative hyenanchin.

The toxins ended up in the honey after bees fed on tutu bushes. – NZPA
Source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10559770

New Zealand Emergency Health Warnings: Toxic Honey Poisoning

Do NOT Consume New Zealand Honey!

In New Zealand several people have been treated for toxic honey poisoning. Toxic Honey Poisoning has killed, incapacitated and hospitalized scores of people since 1974.

Ingesting high levels of tutin toxin can result in “vomiting, delirium, giddiness, increased excitability, stupor, coma, violent convulsions” and death.

Consumers, especially pregnant women, are strongly advised to avoid eating New Zealand honey.

A teaspoon of toxic honey can severely affect human nervous system, cause seizures and lead to death. Consumers who develop symptoms of tutin poisoning MUST contact the health authorities immediately. Original Report

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17 Responses to “Manuka Honey Scam”

  1. bob said

    Dude, what exactly is your problem? Do you have a problem with NZ (stupid question i know). I know we are a bunch of mother fuckers, but you wouldn’t even have the internet if it wasn’t for ‘brownheads’ bringing it into this country. You’d still be wiping ur ass with tree leaves.

  2. teitei said

    bob. get fucked

  3. Kyle said

  4. penny said


    That’s pretty bad selling poison honey

    I’ll have to say as a female I’d really like to get out of NZ right now. […]

  5. Ticket2dig said

    I cannot believe the liberties men take in New Zealand – as if they know nothing will happen to them for taking them. It reminds me of the 1800s or some other era in a European nation. Abuse and poverty are rampant.

  6. SteveB said

  7. Tracy said

    I’m facing my husband possibly losing a finger and grasping at straws for a solution. I want to know whether the shit works!!!!

  8. harvey said

    [Zapped again, until you find something sensible to say! Moderator]

  9. tawhaowhao said


  10. tth0 said

    Bob forgets his people were wiping their asses on the streets -chinese invented paper.
    [Before that, they used sticks, often grabbing the wrong end. Te2]

  11. […] Manuka Honey Scam « Maggot medicine discredited http://www.stuff.co.nz/science/2280158/Maggot-medicine … 11 Responses to “Manuka Honey Scam” […]

  12. te2ataria said

    [The implication being that “un-fake” manuka works????? Moderator]

    The land of bad milk and fake honey

    UK deals blow to NZ industry by warning that imported product may be incorrectly labelled manuka

    Britain’s Food Standards Agency has issued a nationwide warning about misleading and illegal claims made on the labels of manuka honey jars, in a worrying blow to the fast-growing Kiwi industry.

    New Zealand manuka honey commands prices 10 to 20 times higher than other types of honey because of its unique and much-vaunted anti-bacterial properties.

    It is estimated to earn this country up to $120 million a year in export dollars, and is praised by the likes of Welsh opera diva Katherine Jenkins and US pop singer Britney Spears. World tennis No 1 Novak Djokovic says he eats spoonfuls on the sideline between sets.

    UK retailers have been putting security tags on jars of manuka honey to stop sticky-fingered shoplifters taking jars which can retail at up to £35 ($70) per 250g.

    But tests by reputable UK, Chinese and Singaporean laboratories reveal many manuka honey products have none of the claimed active properties – some of the honey is not even manuka – prompting industry leaders to demand a crackdown on “potentially huge fraud”.

    The UK warning about manuka honey follows the Fonterra botulism scare affecting milk product exports around the globe, and China’s conviction of a Zespri employee and subsidiary for double invoicing on kiwifruit shipments.

    Some of the companies selling mislabelled honey are New Zealand producers and some are foreign. But even the most reputable New Zealand honey producers now face heightened surveillance in the UK.

    A spokesman for Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy said yesterday that it would be disappointing New Zealand products were not meeting the required standards.

    “It’s important for industry to work with MPI and come up with some agreed and reliable standards for consumers.”

    Comvita, New Zealand’s biggest manuka honey producer with a market capitalisation of nearly $150 million, is demanding the industry be cleared of cowboys.

    Chief operating officer Scott Coulter said pots of manuka honey labelled with meaningless numbers and certifications were designed to confuse customers who thought they were getting UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) accredited food and nutriceuticals with measurable health benefits. “You can put a number on any honey, and that is damaging to Comvita,” Coulter told the Herald on Sunday. “They can buy a 20+ honey thinking it is manuka and it is not. People will use it and not get any benefits and that damages the reputation of the product and the industry.”

    John Rawcliffe, head of the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association, which represents 38 licensed manuka honey companies, acknowledged the UK crackdown was due.

    “There is potentially huge fraud. There are higher and ever-increasing volumes of honey labelled as manuka which are not manuka,” he said.

    In October 2011, Britain’s Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) tested a small sample of five brands of manuka honey from shop shelves. Only one, made by Comvita, was up to standard. The other four (from Nelson Honey, Honeyco Rainforest, Littleover Apiaries and Native New Zealand Manuka Honey) showed no detectable “non-peroxide activity”, the anti-bacterial properties special to manuka honey.

    Yesterday afternoon, Nelson Honey managing director Philip Cropp said he was a small player, producing only 150 tonnes a year. His honey had passed tests in New Zealand labs, but had sometimes failed overseas lab tests. He said he would stop advertising activity rating numbers on his labels.

    The UMF Honey Association commissioned further tests in Britain, China and Singapore over the past 18 months. The accredited producers almost all passed. But of the 73 samples of honey sold by other companies, 41 failed to show the non-peroxide activity claimed for manuka honey. Separate tests in Hong Kong found 14 of 55 manuka honeys sampled were adulterated with syrup.

    On the strength of the FERA tests, the Food Standards Agency alerted UK local authorities in July of possible issues with manuka honey being mislabelled and encouraged them to “step up surveillance”.

    In New Zealand, beekeepers are not waiting for authorities to clean up the industry.

    Whakatane businessman Jeremy Gardiner has planted 1500 manuka trees, hoping a plantation will ensure the only pollen the bees pick up is manuka. Beehives will be placed among the small saplings over a hectare on a block of Maori land. “It’s a test bed at the moment but we have 37 strains of manuka in there so we want to figure out what strains are the highest UMF value,” Gardiner said.

    Near Cambridge, Moira Haddrell and her husband use a helicopter to drop hives into remote manuka bush; as soon as the flowers start to fall the hives are whipped away and the honey extracted.

    “Putting it bluntly, there are some deceptive and misleading labels out there,” she said. ” I consider it very damaging to the industry.”

    The UMF Honey Association hopes to develop and distribute hand-held near-infrared scanners to detect manuka honey imposters.

    “If we get the science correct, the industry can grow and blossom,” Rawcliffe said. “If we don’t get it right, we get found out, we get exposed.”

    A message from UK: Stop exporting ‘crap’

  13. […] Manuka Honey Scam « Apartheid Fort New Zealand […]

  14. te2ataria said

    NZ’s manuka honey exports under threat [Ouch!!!]
    New Zealand’s lucrative manuka honey export industry is under threat from a cheaper Scottish alternative that scientists say boasts even greater medicinal powers.

    Heather honey, cultivated by bees buzzing around the Scottish Highlands, is even more effective than manuka honey when it comes to battling bacteria, a new UK study has found.

    Researchers conclude that importing manuka from the other side of the world is “unnecessary” when local sources are available.

    The thoroughly-researched manuka is the world’s only medical grade honey.

    Its anti-bacterial properties are widely used in veterinary medicine as a wound dressing.

    But a Scottish researcher and equine surgeon, has just released findings of a study he launched to find out what other honey could be used as anti-bacterial wound dressings.

    “Honey helps to promote healing, cleaning the wound and keeping it infection free,” said Dr Patrick Pollock of University of Glasgow.

    “Although Manuka has been the most studied honey source to date, other honey sources may have valuable antimicrobial properties too.

    “If vets were able to use locally-sourced, cheaper honey as a wound dressing, it would be very beneficial, particularly in poorer countries.”

    Dr Pollock and his research team took 29 honey products, including commercial medical grade honeys, supermarket brands, and honeys from local bee-keepers, and examined them for bacterial contamination before testing.

    Of the 29, 18 were found to contain bacteria that excluded them from the trial and the remaining 11 were tested against 10 equine bacterial isolates at concentrations varying from 2 per cent to 16 per cent.

    Eight of the honeys were effective against all the bacteria at concentrations ranging from 2 per cent to 6 per cent, concluded the study, published in The Veterinary Journal.

    Heather honey from the Inverness area in the north of Scotland was shown to be particularly effective – killing MRSA superbugs and three other types of bacteria at concentrations of 2 per cent.

    “Honeys derived from one type of flower were shown to be the most effective, and while manuka is currently the only medical grade honey, the study reveals that other honeys may be just as suitable for such purposes,” said Dr Pollock, himself a keen beekeeper.

    “Consequently, it may prove unnecessary to transport manuka honey from New Zealand when more local sources may be as, or even more, effective.”

    Earlier this year, the UK’s Food Standards Agency issued a warning about misleading and illegal claims made on the labels of manuka honey jars.

    The New Zealand Government and the honey industry were urged to move quickly to set labelling guidelines for manuka honey and address the damage to the global brand.

    Manuka honey commands prices 10 to 20 times higher than other types of honey because of its anti-bacterial properties.

    It is estimated to earn this country as much as $120 million a year.

    Honey has long been known for its anti-bacterial properties: it was prized by the ancient Egyptians and is widely used today in veterinary medicine as a wound dressing.

    By Kurt Bayer – APNZ

  15. te2ataria said

    What’s worse than…

    The manuka honey scandal | The Independent

    Manuka honey fraud – what else is fake in our food?

    Is your manuka honey really worth the money?

    Is your superfood honey FAKE? Experts reveal that three times more jars of healing manuka are sold around the world than being produced in New Zealand

    Queen’s grocer pulls New Zealand manuka honey from shelves
    “The Queen’s official grocer has pulled New Zealand-made manuka honey from its shelves after testing found lower than expected levels of a key ingredient.

    “Fortnum & Mason removed the pots of honey after testing by the United Kingdom’s Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) laboratory found some contained low levels of the manuka’s active ingredient leptosperin.”

  16. McKay said

    I take my hat off to the blog moderators!

    Mānuka honey fraud: Evergreen Life Ltd handed $260,000 fine for adding synthetics to its product
    “A natural health company has been hit with a $260,000 fine for secretly adding synthetic substances to its mānuka honey products to fetch a higher price.

    “Earlier this month, Evergreen Life Ltd pleaded guilty to seven representative charges of selling adulterated honey with intent to deceive for material gain and of selling non-compliant honey.”

    “Fourteen tonnes of honey were doctored by the company.”

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