Monday, May 14, 2007

Artificial Sweeteners Used in 20 Percent of Japanese Honey

Honey Firms Caught Using Artificial Sweeteners
The Yomiuri Shimbun (Japan), 5/14/2007

The Tokyo-based National Honey Fair Trade Conference, a public-interest corporation that promotes proper labeling for honey products, found from its regular checks that over the last seven years, 120, or about 20 percent, of honey products it inspected had used artificial sweeteners that are banned by the conference, sources close to the conference said Sunday.

Since such products are labeled as pure honey, fake products are likely being sold, the sources said.

As the conference only sent a notice or warning to the companies that sold such products and did not conduct thorough inspections or release inspection results, the Fair Trade Commission is investigating the matter.

The conference is a public organization established with approval from the fair trade watchdog under the Law for Preventing Unjustifiable Extra or Unexpected Benefit and Misleading Presentation.

In its annual inspection, about 100 products are selected from conference member companies. Specialized institutes are commissioned to analyze the ingredients.

Two artificial sweeteners--isomerized sugar and thick malt syrup--were found in some of the products.

Between fiscal 2000 and 2006, about 610 products were inspected, with about 100 found to have contained isomerized sugar and 20 found to have been mixed with thick malt syrup.

About 20 percent of the products tested positive on average. ..

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