Fraudsters are selling ordinary honey as exclusive manuka honey, the health supplement that has been nicknamed ‘liquid gold’ and can sell for up to £45 a jar.
The honey – championed by celebrities including singer Katherine Jenkins and tennis champion Novak Djokovic – comes from bees and hives in a remote part of New Zealand. Its antibacterial properties are thought to help combat various ailments, including skin problems and allergies.However, rogue producers and stores have been accused of passing off cheap baker’s honey as manuka. The Food Standards Agency has now issued a nationwide alert to all trading standards departments asking them to watch out for fakes.
The main honey suppliers’ organisation in New Zealand believes 1,700 tons of manuka honey are produced there every year, but 1,800 tons are being sold in the UK alone. And they estimated that 10,000 tons of what is supposed to be manuka honey are sold around the globe, suggesting that consumers are paying premium-level prices for misleading products.
John Rawcliffe, from the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association, said: ‘There is potentially huge fraud. There are higher and ever-increasing volumes of honey being labelled as manuka that are not manuka.’
Source - Daily Mail