Wednesday, March 26, 2008

New Zealand Toxic Honey Outbreak Expected

Specialists Expected Tutin Honey Outbreak
By Martin Johnston, The New Zealand Herald, 3/26/2008

The Food Safety Authority expected an outbreak of honey poisoning after regulations controlling the trade were eased in 2001, specialists say.

The authority yesterday commissioned HortResearch to test comb honey, produced by a small-scale Whangamata apiary, which is suspected of poisoning at least nine people with potentially lethal tutin toxin.

First test results are expected in a fortnight.

The authority's senior programme manager for animal products, Jim Sim, said a number of people, in addition to the nine identified, had reported sickness after consuming the suspect honey.

A paper by HortResearch bee specialist Dr Mark Goodwin raised questions about the 2001 move towards greater self-regulation of the industry regarding the summer-autumn tutu risk…

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