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It was discovered by Safety News that 76% of the honey sold in the US is fake. This type of honey contains toxic syrups, sugars and is contaminated with antibiotics and heavy metals.
Bees are fed with Corn Syrup and Fructose
When bees are fed with corn syrup and fructose, the honey produced has no nutritional value. Nutrition is important for healthy and strong colonies. Carbohydrates, which are naturally obtained by collecting honeydew or nectar are very important. They provide energy for all activities within the hive and during foraging. A colony’s supply of carbohydrates is removed when natural sources are limited or when honey is harvested by humans. In this case bees are fed sucrose solution, inverted sugar syrup, or other syrups such as starch syrup or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
Bees are Given Large Doses of Antibiotics
Beekeepers give bees veterinary antibiotics such as chloramphenicol, streptomycin and sulfonamides to protect them from diseases. A side effect to this is that the honey they produce is also contaminated with these antibiotics. For example, when chloramphenicol is administered into a human it may cause cancer and aplastic anemia. Also, high doses of streptomycin and sulfonamides are very dangerous to humans.
Heavy Use of Pesticides
The pesticide clothianidin was banned from use in Europe since the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) labeled it unacceptable. In the US however, the same is used on crops comprising143 million acres. Also imidacloprid and thiamethoxam which are responsible for bee death have been taken out of use in most places but not in the US.
Most Honey is Fake
Honey manufacturers extract bee pollen from a machine and mix it with honey that has been imported from China and India. This honey is sold to the international market but no one knows where it comes from. It has no bee pollen and it’s fake.
Four ways to spot artificial honey
- The Thumb Test - place a drop of honey on your thumb. If it stays in place- it’s pure honey, but if it spreads and spills- it’s fake.
- The Water Test - in a glass of water put 1 tbsp of honey. If it sticks to the bottom- it’s real, if it dissolves-it’s fake.
- The Shelf Life Test - if the honey is pure it will crystallize with time. If it’s fake it will remain in the syrup-like form.
- Light a Fire - place a matchstick in honey and light a fire. If the honey is real it will get burnt. If it’s fake it will not due to the moisture.