Respected Acarya Balkrishnaji, Pranam,
May I know if the following is true , or your may forward this to the concerned:
(This is India Today news dtd. 16-Sep-2010 published on following link :
Unhealthy bitter truths about honey in India: India : India Today
An environmental action group has found several commonly available brands of honey to contain high levels of antibiotics. Several leading brands of honey - Dabur, Baidyanath, Patanjali
Ayurveda, Khadi Gramodyog, and Himalaya - had high levels of two to four antibiotics, according an investigation done by the Centre for Science and Environment.
Antibiotics have been found in brands from Australia and Switzerland, too. These include Capilano Pure, Natural Honey and Nectaflor Natural Blossom Honey, which contain the maximum number of antibiotics. Other lesser known Indian brands - Mehsons Pure Honey, Himflora Gold, Gold Honey and Umang Honey - also contain antibiotics. Just one brand - Hitkari - was free of antibiotics.
All the samples were collected from markets in Delhi and tested for the presence of six antibiotics - Oxytetracycline, Chloramphenicol ( which is banned in most countries for use in animals), Ampicillin, Enrofloxacin, Ciprofloxacin and Erythromycin.
"The beekeeping industry uses antibiotics to control and prevent diseases. These drugs find their way to the bees. Drugs are also used as growth promoters to increase production of honey. Use of antibiotics has increased in beekeeping after the Indian bee, which is more adapted to the environment, has been replaced by the European bee," CSE director Sunita Narain said.
Patanjali and Gold Honey were found to have four kinds of antibiotics each; Dabur, Himalaya, Khadi and Capilano from Australia had three antibiotics each; Mehsons Pure Honey, Himflora Gold, Baidyanath Wild Flower Honey and Umang Honey had two kinds of antibiotics.
Antibiotics are used to treat various diseases caused by bacteria in humans. Long-term use of small doses is known to make bugs resistant to antibiotics. Recently, India was blamed for creating a superbug that is resistant to most antibiotics. Overuse and misuse of antibiotics has been blamed for the superbug. In addition, some antibiotics cause cancer, damage organs and harm genes.
Antibiotics are not allowed in honey in the US and EU. Australia has set standards only for Oxytetracycline in honey while other antibiotics are banned. "What is worse is the brands imported from Australia and Switzerland had high levels of antibiotics. The same products wouldn't have been allowed in those countries," Narain said. There are no standards for antibiotics in honey in India.
Honey is regulated under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules, 1955, the voluntary Bureau of Indian Standards for ISI mark, and Honey Grading and Marking Rules, 2008, under the Agricultural Produce (Grading and Marking) Act, 1937, also known as AGMARK. All three define honey as a natural product and lay down standards for its composition and quality.
"Foreign companies take advantage of the lack of regulations in India," she said.
Indian honey, on the other hand, has been banned several times by the UK and the US. Since May 2010, there has been a ban on import of Indian honey in the EU countries because of the presence of antibiotics.
Following export rejection, the government tried to ensure demands of foreign countries are met. The Export Inspection Council under the commerce ministry has set standards called level of action for antibiotics in honey for the purpose of export.
But honey sold within India does not follow standards.
"Our government does not care. Business rules," Narain said.
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