Bee careful: that manuka honey may be fake
The Sunday Times, February 6, 2017
Kourtney Kardashian swears by it, Scarlett Johansson loves its “amazing glow” and Gwyneth Paltrow used to pour it in her smoothies. There is only one snag with New Zealand-made manuka honey, the high-priced, high-profile superfood much loved by celebrities and their fans: a lot of it is as fake as spray-on tan.
Research commissioned by The Sunday Times has found that honey sold under the New Zealand manuka label at up to £45 ($73) a pot may not be manuka.
Results of the research last week persuaded Fortnum & Mason, the upmarket London grocer, to clear its shelves of its own-brand manuka honey after tests showed that it might not be genuine. Honey sold by Holland & Barrett and Amazon also failed the tests.
Commonly sold in health shops and believed by some to have a wide range of healing properties, the thick, dark-brown honey is supposed to be made from the nectar of bees that forage in manuka bushes found mainly in New Zealand.
However, any claims to being a health food are not accepted by New Zealand and British officials, and there has long been suspicion that cheaper honeys have been mislabelled as manuka to fetch higher prices, not least because an estimated 10,000 tons of supposed manuka honey is sold around the world each year...