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ACCC can’t solve ‘fake’ honey case

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has concluded its investigation into allegations Capilano Honey breached the Australian Consumer Law in relation to representations about its ‘Allowrie’ honey and other products.

The investigation followed allegations in the media that a number of honey products including Capilano’s ‘Allowrie’ honey, labelled ‘pure’ and ‘100% honey’ were adulterated with sugar syrup.

The allegations were based on results arising from a testing process known as Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) testing. NMR testing can be used for a variety of applications, but has only recently emerged as a testing method for honey adulteration.

The ACCC is advised NMR testing is not yet reliable enough to determine whether honey is adulterated and therefore should not be used as a basis to support legal action. This is consistent with the approach of regulators in the UK, US and the EU.

The ACCC’s investigation found Capilano had taken steps to provide assurance, and did not uncover any other evidence that supported the allegation Capilano’s ‘Allowrie’ honey was adulterated with sugar syrup.

“During the course of our investigation however, it also became evident that there is low confidence in the current test method (the C4 test) used to detect adulterated honey,” ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh said.

“Governments and research agencies around the world are investigating alternative testing methods, including NMR, but these are not yet developed to the point they can be used with sufficient confidence.”

Since 2015, the Department of Agriculture has tested imported honey using the C4 test, which did not detect adulteration in ‘Allowrie’ honey or some supermarket private-label products.

“The ACCC understands that where there are different tests for honey products that produce different results, it can cause significant frustration among consumers and industry,” Mr Keogh said.

“We understand the Department of Agriculture, which is best placed to determine the most appropriate form of honey testing, is reviewing testing standards.

“It’s important that consumers have confidence in the claims made about the foods they purchase, including honey. The ACCC urges the honey industry and the Department of Agriculture develop an agreed approach to testing, and implement more robust programs to provide greater assurance about the integrity of their products,” said Mr Keogh.

How much faith do you have in honey since the ‘fake’ honey scandal broke in September?



This is a very serious situation. Interpol is now getting involved in honey profiling. Capilano is doing the wrong thing.

Thanks for the video Micha..I didn't realise it was such a global problem. I am disappointed the ACCC let it go so easily.

I am disappointed too with the ACCC Sophie, and would be interested to know where their NMR test was done.

Minimise the risk by buying Australian.

In other words the culprits are being let off.  So the useless ACCC has extracated itself from being a regulator.......again.


Maybe not Mick. As stated the testing methods used are not reliable enough to satisfy any form of legal action. It is no different from any other area of law enforcement, if prosecutors know the evidence can be successfully challenged there is no point in launching any form of legal action, it really would be a waste of money and leave the prosecutors/regulators liable for a damages claim.

Here here Mick...ACCC is an useless waste of our taxpayers $$$...fake honey everywhere 

Could not an audit of the purchase invoices for the imported products be conducted to see how the products are described. Then trace back to the supplier with Interpol help.

Taste is the best way to test the quality of your honey. Capillano cheap honeys do not come anywhere near the taste of a good honey. I would suggest that everyone buys a really good honey (which will probably cost a lot) and never settle for less after that.

I dont eat bee vomit. Use maple or Agave syrup as substitute if I have to

Gee! Good for you. Do you want a medal?

Only if its made from marijuana buds

Lothario, I think you'll find the fructose level of agave syrup way too high to be healthy. Unless of course if it is made into tequila? Honey is a better option.

I gave up buying honey from supermarkets, I buy from a local bee keeper, it tastes so different. Lotharia, nothing wrong with bee vomit as you call it, loaded with nutrients, so is maple syrup but it is not Australian and very expensive. As for Agave, I suggest you do your research it is not a healthy choice and also imported.

Of course you do have the alternative to buy a Flow Hive for your own honey.

Thanks Suze, I have heard about that but unfortunately price is a bit out of my budget, probably pay itself off in the long run though.

I get my honey from a dear friend who posts on this forum. When I run out I buy Beechworth.