Thursday, December 04, 2008

Medicinal Honey Rating Row Heats Up in New Zealand

Manuka Honey Company Awaits Ratings Decision
By Nathan Crombie, Wairarapa Times-Age (New Zealand), 12/4/2008

A court decision over ratings for Masterton-based manuka honey company Watson and Son will not halt their potentially multimillion charge into global medical markets.

The company, one of the largest manuka honey exporters in the country that was this year named the fastest-growing firm in New Zealand, is now awaiting a judgment from the High Court in Hamilton after seeking to stay actions by the Active Manuka Honey Association preventing their use of a UMF (unique manuka factor) rating system.

The association operates the UMF testing and branding scheme for manuka honey, which under the system is compared against different concentrations of a standard laboratory disinfectant, phenol.

Manuka Health New Zealand chief executive Kerry Paul said the association is seeking to revoke the Watson and Son licence to use the UMF system on the basis its honey was below label claim.

Watson and Son owner and scientist Denis Watson said yesterday the outcome of the court case would have no bearing on the company development of medical applications for active manuka honey. He said the firm is "investing heavily into medical applications for its honey" and that active manuka honey is widely recognised around the world as having unique antibacterial properties.

"Irrespective of this judgment, Watson and Son are emerging as a major developer of medical applications for active manuka honey. The medical applications of the honey that we are developing will establish new standards related to its use in advanced wound care. These are exciting developments and have the potential to be worth millions of dollars to New Zealand. The UMF licence is not relevant to these."…

See: Row Over Manuka Honey Ratings

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