ConsumerTalk with Wendy Knowler

Food fraud: Could you be eating fake honey?

Honey is celebrated for its health benefits, thanks to its high vitamin and mineral contents. But, not all honey sold in South Africa is the real deal.

Have you considered that the honey you're buying from your local supermarket could possibly have been fraudulently adulterated with cheap sweeteners, syrups and, water?

According to a leading agricultural economist, in the first quarter of the year, South African imports of 'pure honey' had risen to almost double the amount of last year, with a total of 88% of them coming from Chinese suppliers.

On Wednesday, Pippa Hudson was joined by consumer journalist, Wendy Knowler and consumer activist, Dr Harris Steinman.

If you see the words 'packed in South Africa' then you must know that that honey is imported and, most probably from China.

Wendy Knowler, consumer journalist

We've been aware of this problem, so we've done a pilot study to develop a way of checking for sugars.

Dr Harris Steinman, medical doctor and consumer activist

Worryingly, consumers who are opting to eat honey as a healthier alternative to cane sugar, could in fact be unwittingly consuming large amounts of sugar in the form of 'pure honey.'

So, how do we tell whether honey is pure or not?

Knowler advises that consumers find a local supplier that they are able to trust and, be prepared to pay the price for 'pure honey' as oppose to opting for the cheaper option from the local supermarket chain.

Use your nose, pure honey has an aroma that the adulterated stuff just doesn't...

Wendy Knowler, consumer journalist

Take a listen to the discussion in the Consumer Talk feature on The Pippa Hudson Show:

Every Wednesday, Wendy Knowler provides useful insights and tips on how to make the most of your buying power on The Pippa Hudson Show.

For more stories visit the ConsumerTalk feature page.

Got a consumer case you need help resolving? Email: consumer@knowler.co.za, put Cape Talk in the subject line, followed by the issue e.g. cellphone contract dispute.


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