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Closed petition Review honey authenticity and current regulation of the honey market

Fully review the honey market and Honey Regulations, to review evidence of honey fraud within the honey market, and reform regulations and arrangements for enforcement, to prevent future fraud.

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Honey is adulterated for economic gain on an industrial scale across the globe. We believe current measures to ensure authenticity of honey are insufficient. Public health, free market, livelihoods, food security, consumer confidence and bee health issues are all at risk.

Current regulations, testing and enforcement are inadequate to protect and inform consumers, and there is a need for an urgent comprehensive review in order to detect honey fraud.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

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Government responded

This response was given on 18 August 2022

Honey on sale in England must comply with the Honey Regulations 2015. The regulations and their enforcement are fit for purpose, protecting consumers, producers and businesses from fraud.

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The Government recognises the importance of quality standards for all foods, including honey. All honey on sale, regardless of where it comes from, must comply with the Honey (England) Regulations 2015, with equivalent legislation applying across Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. This legislation sets out detailed specifications of its composition, labelling, and quality criteria.

Honey fraud is taken very seriously, and we work closely with enforcement authorities, the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) National Food Crime Unit, Food Standards Scotland’s (FSS) Food Crime and Incidence Unit, industry, and others on investigating any fraud issues raised, to ensure honey sold in the UK is not subject to fraud, meets our high standards, and maintain a level playing field between honey producers.

We are confident the honey regulations and enforcement of those regulations are fit for purpose but acknowledge honey is a complex natural product. Analysis to determine if honey has been adulterated can often be challenging.

Defra is actively working with the FSA, FSS, and Government Chemist to provide further clarity to those carrying out monitoring and enforcement checks of honey, which protect consumers and legitimate businesses.

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs