Despite promises from the FDA and other government agencies that the large quantities of honey being imported from abroad are both safe and unaltered, a recent investigation lead by Food Safety News seems to prove otherwise. The risk of tainted honey began to generate attention in both Europe and the United States when Chinese honey was found to contain illegal antibiotics and heavy metals in their honey products back in 2001. The FDA has banned such harmful chemicals in food, and the U.S. imposed stiff tariffs to discourage Chinese suppliers from exporting their honey to U.S. markets. But according to FoodSafetyNews.com, the Chinese honey makers quickly bounced back with sneaky new ways to get past the new regulations. One of those strategies appears to have been transshipping the goods through India. Andrew Schneider of Food Safety News traced the origins of American honey imports using Import Genius shipping manifest data. The data showed that almost 60% of U.S. honey imports come from Asian countries, including 45 million pounds from India alone. Schneider alleges that Chinese companies are actually “laundering” their honey through ports in India, thereby disguising their shipments as products of that country and avoiding the tariffs and more critical inspections applied to Chinese honey. “This should be a red flag to FDA and federal investigators. India doesn’t have anywhere near the capacity – enough bees – to produce 45 million pounds of honey. It has to come from China,” Richard Adee, President of the American Honey Producer Association told Schneider. While we’re hesitant to draw such a conclusion from the data ourselves, we find Schneider’s research to be a perfect example of how Import Genius can help people understand importing trends and uncover potential fraud before it affects their business.