The only honey makers that can call their products honey are those that don’t add sugar, corn syrup or any other sweetener. The proposal’s aim is “to advise the regulated food industry on the proper labeling of honey and honey products to help ensure that honey and honey products are not adulterated or misbranded,” the agency wrote.
To feed our honey appetite, the U.S. estimates we import the majority of the 400 million pounds we consume each year, reports Reuters. Only 149 million pounds were produced in this country last year, which means we’ve got to get the rest from somewhere — leading to concerns about cheap substitutes popping up to make the pollen spread farther.
The FDA took on the honey question after a petition from the American Beekeeping Federation and other groups asked for a standard definition of the stuff to promote fair trade. So while the agency has decided not to do that, it said it would tackle the labeling issue.
Honey makers now have 60 days to comment on the proposal before the final rules are issued. And even then, the guidelines aren’t mandatory — it basically just sets in stone what the FDA thinks about the issue.