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Archived Latest News November 2013

The materials and information included in this Latest News page are provided as a service to you and do not reflect endorsement by the American Honey Producers Association (AHPA). The content and opinions expressed within the page are those of the authors and are not necessarily shared by AHPA. AHPA is not responsible for the accuracy of information provided from outside sources.


Honeybees on the Verge of Extinction

by Evaggelos Vallianatos
Professor; Author

In my 25-year experience at the US EPA, nothing illustrated the deleterious nature of "pesticides" and "regulation" better than the plight of honeybees.

Here is a beneficial insect pollinating a third of America's crops, especially fruits and vegetables, and we thank it with stupefying killing.

Poisoning of honeybees became routine in the mid-1970s with the EPA's approval of neurotoxins encapsulated in dust-size particles that took days to release their deadly gas.

Some of my EPA colleagues denounced such misuse of science and public trust. They told their bosses those encapsulated neurotoxins were weapon-like biocides that should have no standing in agriculture and pest management. Indeed, one of those EPA ecologists discovered the neurotoxic plastic spheres in the honeybee queens' gut. This meant poison in the honey.

EPA acted with fury. It forced the scientist out of his laboratory and into paper pushing in Washington. Approval of the industry's neurotoxins expanded to cover most major crops. This meant honeybees had less and less space to search for food without dying.

The blowback of this almost criminal policy is the massive death of honeybees all over the country. Government officials and industry executives cooked up an obscure name, "colony collapse disorder," to cover up the pesticide killers of the honeybees.Read More



Creating Kids That Care: Kickstarter Campaign Launched To Raise Funds For Educational Book Series

PALM DESERT, CA, USA, November 12, 2013 / -- Disappearing bees, picking up trash, and being kind to the environment are just a few of the topics covered in a series of eight educational storybooks featuring the adventures of B.B. McBee.

The character creators, Palm Desert, CA residents Mark Wasson and Randi Storm, recently launched a 32-day Kickstarter campaign to help raise $14,900 for the production of the book series and stuffed B.B. McBee toy.

B.B. McBee is the star of a series of children’s books. He lives in Enchanted Garden along with his friends, promoting his belief in protecting the environment, being kind to others and having good values.

B.B. McBee’s motto is to "Fly Right.”

The brainchild of Wasson, a long time environmental supporter, B.B. McBee was created to "Promote the ethical treatment of all beings and the environment through love, kindness and respect.” This mission statement is exemplified throughout the series of eight storybooks written and illustrated by Storm. Read More


U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Northern District of Illinois


CHICAGO — A Texas honey broker was sentenced today to three years in federal prison for illegally brokering the sale of hundreds of container loads of Chinese-origin honey, which was misrepresented as originating from India or Malaysia, to avoid anti-dumping duties when it entered the United States. The defendant, JUN YANG, pleaded guilty in March to facilitating illegal honey imports by falsely declaring that the honey originated in countries other than China to avoid $37.9 million in anti-dumping duties.

Yang, 40, of Houston, operated National Honey, Inc., which did business as National Commodities Company in Houston, and brokered the sale of honey between overseas honey suppliers and domestic customers. He was ordered to begin serving his sentence on Jan. 15, 2014, by U.S. District Judge Charles Kocoras, who cited the "inescapable harm” to the U.S. honey industry in imposing the sentence.

Yang has already paid financial penalties totaling $2.89 million to the government, including a maximum fine of $250,000, mandatory restitution of $97,625, and agreed restitution of $2,542,659.

"This is a significant sentence against a perpetrator of one of the largest food fraud schemes uncovered in U.S. history,” said Gary Hartwig, Special Agent-in-Charge of HSI Chicago. "Unbeknownst to Yang, he was dealing with an undercover HSI agent who was one step ahead of his illegal activities. Together with our partners at Customs and Border Protection, we will continue to protect American industries from deceptive import practices, while facilitating the lawful flow of goods across our borders that is so critical to the U.S. economy.”

According to court documents, Yang caused transportation companies to deliver to U.S. honey processors and distributors 778 container loads of honey, which were falsely declared at the time of importation as being from Malaysia or India, knowing that all or some of the honey had actually originated in China. As a result, the honey, which had an aggregate declared value of nearly $23 million when it entered the country, avoided anti-dumping duties and honey assessments totaling more than $37.9 million.

In addition, Yang admitted that he sold purported Vietnamese honey that tested positive for the presence of Chloramphenicol, an antibiotic not allowed in honey or other food products. After learning of the unfavorable test results, Yang obtained new test results that purported to show that the honey was not adulterated, and he instructed the undercover agent to destroy the unfavorable test results. This adulterated honey was seized by the government.

The sentence was announced by Mr. Hartwig and Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

Yang was among a group of individuals and companies who were charged in February of this year in the second phase of an investigation led by agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). See:

In December 2001, the Commerce Department determined that Chinese-origin honey was being sold in the United States at less than fair market value, and imposed anti-dumping duties. The duties were as high as 221 percent of the declared value, and later were assessed against the entered net weight, currently at $2.63 per net kilogram, in addition to a "honey assessment fee” of one cent per pound of all honey. In October 2002, the Food and Drug Administration issued an import alert for honey containing the antibiotic Chloramphenicol, a broad spectrum antibiotic that is used to treat serious infections in humans, but which is not approved for use in honey. Honey containing certain antibiotics is deemed "adulterated” within the meaning of federal food and drug safety laws.

In 2008, federal authorities began investigating allegations involving circumventing anti- dumping duties through illegal imports, including transshipment and mislabeling, on the "supply side” of the honey industry. The second phase of the investigation involved the illegal buying, processing, and trading of honey that illegally entered the U.S. on the "demand side” of the industry.

The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew S. Boutros.



American Bee Journal

Make Sure You Don't Buy Illegal Honey from China
Check Your Honey with a New Look-Up Tool on

Washington, D.C. – November 14, 2013 – A new search function on allows U.S. shoppers to be sure that they’re not mistakenly buying honey that has been illegally shipped from China. In one easy step they can help ensure the safety and quality of their honey, while also supporting U.S. honey producers and beekeepers. In addition, retailers and manufacturers are able to trace their product back to the hive.

By going to and clicking on the starburst at the top of the page, consumers can enter the UPC code on the back of their packaged honey to see if it is True Source Certified™.

Millions of pounds of illegally sourced honey may continue to enter the United States, despite continuing federal crack-down efforts. True Source CertificationTM helps ensure honey’s safety and quality because it traces the source of that honey from hive to table. The program has been applauded by honey industry leaders, including the American Honey Producers Association and the American Beekeeping Federation.

"The True Source Certified logo tells you that the honey you’re buying was ethically and legally sourced,” says True Source Honey Executive Director Gordon Marks. "If you don’t see the logo, ask your retailer or honey company to join the program. And make sure that your favorite foods with honey – from breakfast cereals to snacks – are made by a manufacturer that purchases honey from a True Source Certified honey company.”

Earlier this year, two of the nation’s largest honey suppliers admitted to buying illegally imported Chinese honey, including some that was adulterated with unauthorized antibiotics.

About one-third of honey sold in North America today is now True Source Certified. Many large grocery retailers and club stores only use certified honey for store brands, including Costco (Kirkland Signature) and Target (Market Pantry and Simply Balanced).

The U.S. imports more than 60% of the honey it needs from other countries. Most is from high-quality, legal sources. But some honey brokers and importers illegally circumvent tariffs and quality controls, selling honey to U.S. companies that is of questionable origin. This threatens the U.S. honey industry by undercutting fair market prices and damaging honey's reputation for quality and safety.

True Source Honey, LLC is an effort by a number of honey companies and importers to protect consumers and customers from illegally sourced honey; and to highlight and support legal, transparent and ethical sourcing. The initiative seeks to help maintain the reputation of honey as a high-quality, highly valued food and further sustain the U.S. honey sector. Visit Follow us on Facebook.



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Cassie Cox
Executive Secretary
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Mendon, UT 84325