Friday, July 16, 2004
EU lifts Chinese honey ban
Today, the European Union lifted the two-year old ban on Chinese honey because of the â€œsignificant improvementsâ€ in Chinese veterinary standards. The bans on shrimp, farmed fish, and rabbit meat are also lifted, although poultry products are still banned because of bird 'flu.
â€œChina has put in place a range of corrective measures which were verified by inspectors from the EU's Food and Veterinary Office,â€ said a statement from the EU Commission. It said the Chinese would test all consignments of food for export and to issue sanitary certificates only for those in conformity with EU requirements.
In January 2002, the EU banned all imports of animal products from China after finding residues of veterinary medicines in food. In honey it found antibiotics.
What happens to honey prices now? Many hobbyist beekeepers in the UK benefited from the disappearance of Chinese honey from supermarket shelves and the resulting general round of honey price rises. Will what was the cheapest honey prices in the world force down prices? Or will consumers have acquired a taste for other honeys?