This honey is funny dear: Leading brands adulterated with sugar syrup says CSE

NEW DELHI: Honey, the natural sweet nectar, an immunity booster made by honey bees in their natural environment and bought by you through a brand sold by a MNC may after all be just sugar syrup acquired from rice, corn, beetroot, and sugarcane and passed off as pure.

The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) on Wednesday said that some of the country's top honey brands, including Dabur, Patanjali, Zandu, Baidyanath and Emami, have failed an stringent adulteration test carried out by a foreign laboratory.

In its report CSE said that it conducted an investigation to understand adulteration in honey. As part of this, total of 13 honey brands were tested at two laboratories, Centre for Analysis and Learning in Livestock and Food (CALF), National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), Gujarat and at a renowned food testing laboratory in Germany for the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) test.

Out of the 13 brands 10 of them include very popular names like Dabur, Patanjali, Zandu, Baidyanath, Apis Himalaya and Hitkari flunked the stringent NMR test considered as the global gold standard for honey.Only three brands, namely Saffola, Markfed Sohna and Nature's Nectar passed the test.  

According to CSE among samples those who failed the NMR test, were found to be adulterated with addition of sugar syrup, most of which is being imported from China. 

According to CSE, they were alerted that beekeepers from North India and other parts of the country were in deep distress. "Sale of honey as an immunity booster that helps in fighting Covid19, is rising, however beekeepers are reporting low price yields in the market," CSE said.

CSE's said that the adulterated honey passes the required health and safety protocols and tests certified by FSSAI, which are lax in comparison to global standards. In August, the Indian government has made NMR tests mandatory for export of honey indicating it was aware of contamination but is yet to make the tests mandatory for the domestic market.


  • Prashant Sarkar
    Prashant Sarkar

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