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March 13, 2013

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Fake honey sales called rampant, hard to detect

SALES of fake honey products are common in the city due to loopholes in the national standards, experts said yesterday.

Honey sold cheaply by virtually all street vendors is fake because demand far exceeds supply, said Sun Deguan, director of the bee industry council of Shanghai Association of Agricultural Science Societies.

Street vendors use low prices to lure consumers, saying their products are directly from producers, but they almost always turn out to be made from syrup and gum, Sun said.

The cost of fake honey is only a tenth of the price of real honey, Sun said.

Fake honey products account for nearly half of the market volume, and it is hard for consumers to tell the difference between the fake one and the real one, said Lu Zetian, a senior official with the China Bee Products Association.

New technologies for manufacturing fake honey products have emerged, and traditional testing cannot always detect the fakes, experts said. Fake honeycomb made of gum and fake honey can pass tests such as those for flavonoid plant compounds and the oxidation index, experts said.

National standards issued in 2011 lag behind, and while new standards are being discussed, nothing definite has been decided, experts said.


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