4

The Chinese Are Shipping a Lot of Illegal Honey to Houston, Feds Say

^
Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Federal authorities in Houston are seizing a lot of sticky icky icky of a whole different kind (although they certainly catch a lot of weed, too). According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the feds have caught more than 400 pounds of illegally imported Chinese honey here in recent months.

Since October, the feds have seized about 448,000* pounds of the stuff shipped to Houston, valued at some $2.45 million. ICE claims the honey is of Chinese origin, dumped on the U.S. market to be sold at super low prices, thereby undermining domestic honey producers.

The U.S. Commerce Department started to crack down on honey dumping in 2001 because of Chinese dumping. Back then, the imposed duties as high as a whopping 221 percent of stated value, but later lowered them $2.63 per net kilo in addition to a "honey assessment fee" of one cent per pound of all honey. (They're very serious about honey.)

In addition to undercutting U.S. honey producers, the feds also claim Chinese honey might be "adulterated." Back in 2002, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning stating foreign honey sometimes contains the antibiotic Chloramphenicol, which isn't approved for use in domestic honey farming.

The feds say the most recent bulk shipments of illegally imported honey to Houston appear to have come from Latvia. Federal agencies are working with authorities in Frankfurt and Latvia to get to the bottom of it, according to a release sent out yesterday.

-- *Correction 3:30 pm: An earlier version of this post inadvertently left out three very important zeros, as a commenter has helpfully pointed out.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.