U.S – Recent sampling and testing conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on imported honey have revealed a notable decrease in violative samples, indicating progress in combating food fraud.

However, while this decline is promising, the agency emphasizes the need for continued vigilance to safeguard consumer health and maintain the integrity of the honey market.

Results from the FDA’s surveillance data for 2022–2023 show that only 3 percent of the 107 imported honey samples tested were found to be violative. This marks a substantial decrease from the previous year’s data, which reported 10 percent violative samples.

While this decline is encouraging, the agency cautions against direct statistical comparisons between the two datasets due to differences in assignment design.

FDA’s sampling and testing procedures involved the collection of 107 honey samples from 25 countries between April 2022 and July 2023.

Each sample underwent Stable Carbon Isotope Ratio Analysis (SCIRA) to analyze its organic composition. Samples exhibiting carbon isotope values inconsistent with authentic honey were classified as violative/noncompliant.

Upon identifying violative samples, the FDA took swift action to prevent their further distribution in the U.S. market.

This included refusal of entry for adulterated shipments and heightened screening and surveillance measures. Additionally, the associated companies and products were placed on Import Alert (IA) 99-47, further enhancing regulatory oversight.

While the decrease in violative samples is a positive development, challenges in combatting food fraud persist. The global nature of the honey supply chain, coupled with the ingenuity of fraudulent practices, necessitates ongoing efforts to ensure the authenticity and safety of honey products entering the market.

The FDA says it remains committed to upholding the highest food safety and integrity standards.

Through continued surveillance, enforcement actions, and collaboration with industry stakeholders, the agency aims to strengthen safeguards against food fraud and protect consumers from adulterated products.

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