26 Jun 2014 --- An Australian company has been fined for misleading consumers about its honey, because it isn’t produced by bees. The product, which is mostly comprised of sugar from plants, including corn and sugar cane, should not be labelled as ‘honey’ according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
Food wholesaler, Basfoods Australia, which produces the ‘Victoria Honey’, has been fined more than $30,000 for misleading consumers. The company was also targeted for stating that the product was made locally when it was actually imported from Turkey.
More than 180,000 one-kilogram tubs of the product have already been sold in the two-and-a-half years it has been on sale, according to reports.
''Honey suppliers should now be on notice that they must have a basis for selling a product as 'honey', which likely should include tests to confirm the product is in fact honey produced entirely by honey bees,'' commission chairman Rod Sims said.
''It is difficult for consumers to test claims by traders that a certain product is actually 'honey' or is from a certain place of origin. False claims of this kind not only mislead consumers but can also disadvantage competing honey suppliers, particularly those who source honey locally within Australia.''
Basfoods supplied ‘Victoria Honey’ to independent supermarkets, specialty retailers, online stores, delis, restaurants and cafes.
The Australian Honey Bee Industry Council first identified ‘Victoria Honey’ as potentially breaching labelling laws.
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