Honey adulterant import from China may be curbed

Honey adulterant import from China may be curbed

NEW DELHI: The government is considering curbs, including a possible ban, on the import of high fructose syrup, whose traces were found in honey sold under several well known brand names.
Citing the recent controversy, micro, small and medium enterprises and transport minister Nitin Gadkari has taken up the issue of restricting the import of the adulterant, which may also include a steep increase in import duty.
“Large quantity of high fructose syrup is imported from China and is widely being sold in the market, used for adulteration with honey, as it is difficult to detect even with sophisticated testing,” Gadkari said in a letter to commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal. He argued that this was posing a serious threat to the honey industry and impacted livelihood.
The minister took up the cudgels on behalf of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), which is part of the MSME ministry set-up. Separately, KVIC has also approached Goyal, arguing that the import of the high fructose syrup was largely unchecked with huge consignments also routed via Hong Kong.
An estimated 11,000 tonnes of the syrup was imported, with nearly 70% coming from China. Often it was sent as “paint pigment” to avoid customs checks, KVIC chairman V K Saxena has told the government, while pointing out he had also flagged the concern last year.
The agency, whose samples cleared the test conducted by CSE, also said that some Indian companies were selling the syrup as “pure honey grade invert syrup” and “honey making enzymes invertase”, adding to the challenge faced by consumers.
“Such adulteration of honey not only poses public health hazard but also adversely affects the government’s sincere efforts to boost the honey industry,” Saxena said in his letter. Earlier this month, CSE said that its tests had revealed that 10 of 13 honey brands could not clear the adulteration test.

Source From : Times Of India

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