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American Bee Journal Extra

January 29, 2015

True Source Applauds U.S.

Investigators for Seizing

Illegal Chinese Honey in Houston

Washington, D.C. – January 29, 2015 – The True Source Honey CertificationTM Program ( applauds special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, and officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, for yesterday’s announcement that they have seized significant amounts of illegal honey in Houston in an ongoing effort to crack down on illegal trade in Chinese honey. Such activity threatens the U.S. honey industry – from beekeeper to packer – by undercutting fair market prices and damaging honey's reputation for quality and safety.

A government news release reports that since October the special agents have seized almost half a million pounds of illegally imported Chinese honey valued at $2.45 million destined for U.S. consumers.

“This is excellent work on the part of the federal authorities, but unfortunately it demonstrates that illegally shipped Chinese honey continues to make its way into the United States,” said True Source Honey Executive Director Gordon Marks. “Consumers, retailers and food manufacturers need to demand certified honey. That is the most powerful way to eliminate this harmful practice.”
The True Source Certified™ logo on honey packages ensures that the source of the honey has been independently certified through a third-party audit system. Further information, including a search function to check honey products, can be found at

The True Source Certification Program is an industry-supported, voluntary program that has been applauded by U.S. beekeepers and honey industry leadership because it provides traceability from hive to table, helping ensure the food safety and security of the honey used in North America. Companies that are True Source Certified now represent about one-third of honey sold in North America.

“Honey packers and importers that become True Source Certified are held to the highest sourcing standards – verified by outside auditors to ensure that all honey purchases are openly declared and that no illegally circumvented Chinese honey enters their supply chain,” said Marks.

The government release on the honey seizures in Houston can be found here.


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