monthly item

Fake Honey Is No Sweet Deal


Fake Honey is no Sweet Deal

If you are getting sick and tired of hearing about recalls of foods that should be good for us - brace yourself for a surprising fact. Most honey sold today is not real honey! The label may say it is honey or, even, organic honey but 76% of the supermarket honey doesn’t meet the FDA standard, according to Food Safety News. Why? Because natural honey contains microscopic bits of pollen, without the pollen it cannot be classified as honey. The supermarket honeys are missing the pollen.

How bees make honey

Pollen, produced by flowering plants, is a natural bee attractant. Bees, drawn to a flower by pollen, suck the plant’s nectar, carry it back to the hive and deposit it. It is within the hive that the nectar is concentrated into honey and stored. Honey is a complex mixture of sugars, bee enzymes, and tiny amounts of pollen.

The pollen is an ID of sorts, identifying which plants the bee visited. Pollen is the only foolproof fingerprint to a honey’s source. The food safety divisions of the World Health Organization, the European Commission, and the FDA all require pollen to be present in order to classify honey. Without pollen it is impossible to identify the honey’s origin.

To remove any trace of evidence as to country of origin, ultrafiltration is used. Ultra filtering is a procedure where honey is heated, watered down and forced through extremely small filters to remove the pollen.

Chinese honey

Chinese honey is very cheap but the quality is poorly controlled. Honey from China has been found to contain lead – traced to small beekeeping operations that store honey in metal drums, soldered with lead. Additionally, the Chinese have been known to mix honey with water, rice or corn syrup and sweeteners to keep the price down. In 2001, the Federal Trade Commission imposed stiff tariffs to prevent the Chinese from flooding the marketplace with dirt-cheap, poor quality honey, which was forcing American beekeepers out of business. But the Chinese importers found a way around the tariffs by using ultrafiltration to remove the identifying pollen, and then shipping to another country (India, Viet Nam, and Malaysia) from which the honey could be imported into the US. Honey without its pollen should be assumed to come from China.

Holiday recipes often use honey for sweetness; my advice is to purchase organic raw honey from small, independent farms or beekeepers. Chances are it will even taste better!

Click on the link below for the original article.


Here is a list of the honey tested by Food Safety News that showed no traces of pollen. Analysis showed that the absence of pollen was consistent regardless of the size of the jar.

  • American Choice Clover Honey
  • Archer Farms Orange Blossom Honey
  • Archer Farms Organic Classic Honey
  • Busy Bee Organic Honey
  • Busy Bee, Pure Clover Honey
  • CVS Honey
  • Fred Meyer Clover Honey
  • Full Circle Pure Honey
  • Giant Eagle Clover Honey
  • GE Clover Honey
  • Great Value, Clover Honey
  • Haggen Honey, Natural & Pure
  • HT Traders Tupelo Honey
  • Kroger Pure Clover Honey
  • Market Pantry Pure Honey
  • Mel-o 100 % Pure Honey
  • Natural Sue Bee Clover Honey
  • Naturally Preferred Fireweed Honey
  • Rite Aid Honey
  • Safeway Clover Honey
  • Silver Bow Pure Honey
  • Stop and Shop Clove Honey
  • Sue Bee Clover Honey
  • Thrifty Bee Honey
  • Valutime Honey
  • Walgreen MEL-O honey
  • Western Family Clover Honey
Welcome Guest
Please Login

Twitter Twitter
Dr. Klauer is now on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Keep up to date on the latest news, videos, events, and specials!


ORDER Dr. Klauer's new book, "The Park Avenue Nutritionist's Plan: The No-Fail Prescription for Energy, Vitality & Weight Loss".


SIGN UP to receive Dr. Klauer's monthly column, news, and events emailed directly to your inbox.

Home  |  Principles  |  Books  |  Press  |  Video  |  Office Services  |  Biography  |  Monthly Column  |  Events  |  Contact Us
Copyright © Jana Klauer, M.D., P.C.