Honey Study Reveals Most Store Offerings Don’t Contain Any Pollen

Honey has been a household staple as both a sweet and sticky condiment and for use as a home remedy for over 100 years. Unfortunately, when many uniformed consumers think they are grabbing a container of actual honey off the local grocery store shelf, they are likely getting a pollen-free product.

Just because the label says honey does not necessarily mean that the golden goo inside that cute bear-shaped container is indeed honey. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines honey as any product possessing pollen. Some Chinese companies utilize an “ultrafiltered” process that reportedly drains all of the pollen out of the “honey” before it goes into a container.

The ultrafiltering process removes the pollen and then allegedly hides the origins of the honey. Makers of cheap honey supposedly embark on such a filtering process so customers do not know where the product was actually made. Cheap honey is allegedly often tainted with heavy metals, antibiotics, and pesticides. Some Chinese honey makers have also been accused of watering down the mixture with high fructose corn syrup.

An independent honey test ordered by Food Safety News was conducted at the Texas A&M University by professor Vaughn Bryant. The Texas professor is reportedly one the premiere melissopalynologists in the United States. The investigation reportedly found that 76 percent of honey sold in grocery stores does not contain a single drop of pollen.

Only 24 percent of the samples tested from Giant Eagle, TOP Food, Kroger, Safeway, Harris Teeter, King Soopers, A&P, Metro Market, and Stop 7 Shop contained pollen. All of the honey samples from Rite-Aid, CVS, and Walgreens contains no pollen at all.

A total of 77 percent of the honey tested from Walmart, Sam’s Club, Costco, H-E-B, and Target had the pollen filtered out. A total of 100 percent of the individual honey packets from McDonald’s, Smucker, and KFC also had the pollen removed.

The study also found that honey purchases at co-ops, Trader Joe’s, PCC, and farmers markets had a full amount of pollen. The FDA has been pushed by Congress, the US honey industry and beekeepers to develop a standard for the honey market. To date, the FDA has failed to act upon such request. Less than five percent of honey on found on store shelves has reportedly been purity tested by the FDA.

Some feel that the FDA is far more concerned with pasteurization in the honey process rather than pollen purity levels. Pasteurization reportedly eliminates many beneficial components, including propolis. Raw honey has long been touted as an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral healing compound.

Do you think the FDA should set honey standards?

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