Press Esc to close
Friday 01 July 2016
News updated at 11:34 AM IST
Weather
Max: 26.3°C
Min : 20.3°C
In Bengaluru
Generally cloudy

Honey, these popular brands are contaminated with antibiotics

Last updated: 16 September, 2010
New Delhi, Sep 15, DHNS:

In what may be a case of adopting double standard, India allows export of top quality, pure honey to US and Europe, but turn a blind eye to sale of antibiotic-laden honey in the domestic market.

A survey of 12 popular honey brands including two imported products available in the Indian market shows almost all of them contain high levels of antibiotics, used by the beekeeping industry to control and prevent outbreak of diseases in apiaries.
Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment analysed 10 Indian honey brands – Dabur, Himalaya, Patanjali, Khadi, Himflora, Mehsons, Baidyanath, Gold, Hitkari and Umang. Also two foreign products Australian product Capilano and Swiss Nectaflor were checked.

Barring one, all other honey brands were found to be contaminated with multiple antibiotics and regular consumption may contribute to the evolution of drug-resistant superbugs.

But when it comes to the million dollar export market, regulators at the Export Inspection Council (EIC) and Agriculture product Export Development Authority (APEDA) under the Union commerce ministry ensure that honeys for export market adhere to the highest quality norms. But the authorities allow sale of contaminated honey in the domestic market.

“They diligently check the products and monitors the standard for export products. But there is no check on the products available in the domestic market,” said Sunita Narain, director of Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment which carried out the survey.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India failed to do anything in the last four years even though the government was aware of the problem since the last five years, she said.

Moreover, nobody knows what happened to the export-rejected products. Though there was no word on it from the government or the industry, it was likely that those contaminated products might be coming back to domestic market after relabeling, said Chandra Bhushan, deputy director of CSE.

India has three standards on honey, each defining it as a “natural product”. But there were no standards for antibiotic or any other contaminants in honey, he said. Besides diseases control, antibiotics are used as a growth promoter too.

“Barring Hitkari, all other branded products are contaminated by high levels of multiple antibiotics. It is bad for health but there is no regulation for the domestic market,” said Narain.

Chronic exposure to antibiotics in small doses can lead to antibiotic-resistance and superbugs, which is increasingly becoming a public health worry. As many as six antibiotics were found and contamination level was maximum with oxytetracycline and enrofloxacin.


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Naval NCC cadets of West Bengal and Sikkim...

Naval NCC cadets of West Bengal and Sikkim...

A view of the Taj Mahal as cloud hover in the...

A view of the Taj Mahal as cloud hover in the...

Army personnel take positions the house where militants were hiding...

Army personnel take positions the house where militants were hiding...

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal with deputy CM Manish Sisodia talks with..

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal with deputy CM Manish Sisodia talks with..

Visitors enjoy the rain at Rajpath in New Delhi...

Visitors enjoy the rain at Rajpath in New Delhi...

An AirAsia A320 Aircraft with livery painting at Hyderabad on...

An AirAsia A320 Aircraft with livery painting at Hyderabad on...

Vice President Hamid Ansari with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and...

Vice President Hamid Ansari with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and...

A Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) being successfully test-fired from...

A Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) being successfully test-fired from...

Erosion intensified at sea-shore at Ullala near Mangaluru on Thursday following rains. PTI Photo

Erosion intensified at sea-shore at Ullala near Mangaluru on Thursday following rains. PTI Photo

Villagers looking at a one horned rhinoceros that strayed in...

Villagers looking at a one horned rhinoceros that strayed in...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523