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Honey Fraud

From the American Beekeeping Federation:

To all U.S. Beekeepers,

We need your help! We have an urgent need to fight against unfair honey prices for our domestic honey producers.

The International Trade Commission has ruled that U.S. Honey Producers have been injured by low imported honey prices (an estimated 381 million pounds of honey valued at $300 million was imported in 2020 alone). Adding insult to injury, these honey imports are often adulterated with “extenders” that affect the quality of the product which negatively reflects on those of us who take pride in our pure U.S. honey.

We at the American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) recognize the urgent need to get behind the anti-dumping lawsuit, and we are asking for your financial support!

Would you consider a donation in one of the following amounts?

• $.05/pound of your 2020 production – suggested for commercial beekeepers
• $.12/pound of your production if you averaged over $4.00 per pound – suggested for serious sideliner beekeepers
• $300 which is equivalent to the cost of setting up one hive – suggested for small-scale/hobbyist beekeepers
• Or a donation of your choosing: no gift is too large or too small!

To win this lawsuit, we need to make a strong, distinctive statement. Our message is that We will NOT stand for our market to be adversely impacted by cheap or adulterated honey. We are a small community doing a big job. We all need to do the RIGHT thing to:

• protect the integrity of honey
• establish fair market trade
• get a fair price for U.S. Honey
• educate the public to “know where your honey comes from”

You can donate online to the Honey Defense Fund at: http://bit.ly/HoneyDefenseFund.

Thank you for your continued support of the ABF and the industry it represents.

Joan Gunter, President                                            Dan Winter, Vice President
American Beekeeping Federation                          American Beekeeping Federation

P.S. Successful Cases Tend to increase Market Prices by Eliminating Unfair Trade. After the domestic industry filed and won an Anti-dumping and Countervailing Duties case against honey imports from China and Argentina in 2000-2001, domestic raw honey prices for white honey steadily increased from
$0.56/pound to $1.40/pound by 2003. While it is not possible to predict the exact price impact of the case, there is every reason to believe that the new case should have a similar positive impact on domestic raw honey prices. Please donate today to support the anti-dumping/fair trade lawsuit!

News on Honey Fraud:

CBP and Partners Seized 132 Drums of Honey

Release Date: September 14, 2016

MIAMI – On Aug. 12, Import Specialists from the Miami based Agriculture & Prepared Products Center of Excellence & Expertise (APP Center) in collaboration with U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) Officers and Special Agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Chicago, seized around 42 tons of illegally imported Chinese honey. This represents the third such significant seizure of honey in four months.

The honey was contained in 132 fifty-five gallon drums that were falsely declared as originating from Taiwan to evade anti-dumping duties applicable to Chinese-origin honey. The evaded anti-dumping duties on this shipment of Chinese honey would be nearly $180,299 based on the rates imposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce, had CBP not intervened.

Prior to seizing the smuggled honey, samples were sent to the CBP Laboratory for analysis, where it was determined that the honey had a greater than 99 percent probability match with honey originating from China.

Import Specialists have been working with HSI agents on honey transshipment for years following concerns from industry experts about how anti-dumping circumvention schemes like the one announced today foster a divergent market which severely disadvantages legitimate importers, processors and end-users of honey versus those who place cost above truth-in-labeling. Today’s seizure follows a string of successful criminal prosecutions by HSI Chicago agents of multiple U.S. importers convicted of illegally transacting in smuggled Chinese honey disguised as Taiwanese – among many other false origins – who were ultimately sentenced and subsequently deported.

“Customs and Border Protection considers Trade Enforcement a priority since it levels the playing field for legitimate companies. The agency certainly does not want questionable companies having a competitive edge because they choose not to correctly describe their products to evade duties,” stated Center Director for Agriculture & Prepared Products Center of Excellence & Expertise Dina M. Amato.

Upon successful forfeiture of the honey to the United States following the government’s ongoing investigation into the full supply chain, the seized honey will be destroyed.

With the recent enactment of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (TFTEA), Congress recognized that industries and companies that circumvent U.S. law and regulation remain a risk to this nation’s economic security. Among its provisions, TFTEA requires CBP and HSI to collaborate to enhance trade enforcement. One of the ways of meeting this requirement comes in the form of an increased and more focused perspective by CBP in the trade arena.

Over the past few years, CBP has stood up ten industry based Centers of Excellence & Expertise as part of CBP’s plan to become more industry and account focused in order to protect the interests of legitimate businesses. These Centers are placed around the country and the Agriculture & Prepared Products Center of Excellence & Expertise is one of these centers and it is headquartered out of CBP’s Miami Field Office in Florida. The APP Center currently employs CBP Import Specialists around the U.S. in dozens of ports of entry whose main focus is ensuring the legitimacy of importations in the agricultural/food industry.

This recent seizure and others occurring around the country in a number of other industries are a great indication that CBP’s efforts are paying off and that the recently enacted TFTEA is already making an impact in the trade enforcement arena.

The public may submit allegations and tips concerning food fraud to the APP Center at: [email protected].

More Articles

Chicago Homeland Security Investigators Seize Nearly 60 Tons of Honey Illegally Imported – April 28, 2016
Report to the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration as Required by the 2014 Farm Bill
Texas Honey Broker Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Avoiding $37.9 Million in Tariffs on Chinese-Origin Honey
Make Sure You Don’t Buy Illegal Honey from China
U.S. Beekeepers Urge Americans To Buy Source-Certified Honey
Bloomberg Business Week–The Honey Launderers–Uncovering the Largest Food Fraud in US History–September 19, 2013
Most honey sold in US stores is fake-June, 2013
Honey Laundering Trails All Lead to China – February 21, 2013
More details on antidumping Charges – February 21, 2013
The March to Monopoly Has Lost Its Momentum. February 20, 2013
ICE and CBP Announce Charges Linked to Major Commercial Fraud Enterprise; Honey Anti-dumping Case Is One Of the Largest in U.S. History – February 20, 2013

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