Wednesday, July 30, 2008

U.S. Launches Crackdown on Illegal Honey Imports

Swarming to Arrest Honey Importers
By Cindy Skrzycki, The Washington Post (USA), 7/29/2008

How's this for the plot of a suspense thriller to take to the beach? Contraband worth millions is shipped through Russia to disguise its origin. Federal agents, tipped by an informant, move in for an arrest. A German executive is apprehended as she is leaving the country.

Except this tale is real, a sting, if you will, involving the alleged laundering of Chinese honey through Russia to avoid high U.S. tariffs, some of it possibly contaminated with banned antibiotics.

The case is part of a crackdown on importers trying to get honey into the U.S. market at prices that undercut domestic producers. Over the past 15 years, U.S. honey producers have complained to the International Trade Commission in Washington repeatedly to try to stem such imports from China. A year ago, 221 percent anti-dumping tariffs were slapped on some shipments…

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