MANILA - Majority or 80 percent of honey products sold in markets contain sugar and corn syrups, threatening the health of consumers and resulting in some P200 million loss to the local honey industry, according to a study by the Department of Science and Technology.
The "fraudulent practice allows manufacturers to increase the volume of their products while reducing the production costs," according to the report published Friday.
Sixty-two of 76 brands were found to be composed of 95 percent C4 sugar syrup, according to Angel Bautista VII of the agency's Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI).
Twelve out of 16 local brands sold in groceries or souvenir shops, and 64 of 74 local products sold online are not pure honey, Bautista said.
“The problem is that people are being tricked. You may be buying honey for its wonderful health benefits, but because of adulteration, you may actually just be buying pure sugar syrup. Consuming too much pure sugar syrup can lead to harmful health effects,” he said.
“Imagine, incomes that are supposed to be for our honest beekeepers and honey producers are being lost instead due to adulteration and fraud. This is affecting our local honey industry so badly that we estimate that they are losing P200 million per year."
Meanwhile, none of 41 imported honey products being sold in local stores were found to be adulterated, said Bautista.
Honey sold in markets must not have any food additives and other substances, according to the Philippine National Standard for Honey of the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards.
Substance added to honey products and the honey's source must be declared in its label, according to the DOST.
The agency has forwarded its findings to the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration as it urged to incorporate isotope-based standards in the regulatory system, according to the report.