Here in the state of New York we lack a definition for "honey".
well, there are lots of ways to deal with these issues.
1. there are now more sensitive testing for sugar adulteration (polarmetrics has a FTIR machine that will test down to 2-3% adulteration, and will test for rice syrup).
2. there are labeling laws, and i can assure you that many selling not so pure honey are buying it in and selling it as their own (often they are unaware of this..they get sold this "honey" because the seller knows it will never get tested).
When the food is not manufactured by the person whose name appears on the label, a qualifying phrase such as “Manufactured for _________”, “Distributed by ________”, or other expression of facts, shall appear with the name.
....these beekeepers will never want to admit that they are not selling their own honey (this is true for 2 reasons...the customer wants to buy honey from "the beekeeper that produced it", and health regulations are different for packing your own honey and packing purchased honey).
3. relying on the govt to regulate this is (imho) largely a waste of time. we deal with these issues by educating the consumer directly.
4. the biggest problem is how are you going to define honey (from a legal standpoint)? many states have done this, but they have really created a problem for themselves, as if the standards are applied, virtually no commercial honey would qualify (and very little 'hobbyist' honey either). ...so the standards are not applied, and nothing changes (see florida's standard for this).
5. we've tested honey (both our own and honey we purchased from beekeepers and off the shelf) for sugar adulteration. in one case, a very well respected health food store has now taken the $11/lb honey "from a local organic farm" (99% certain it is bought in from a migratory operation) off the shelf (it was 30% beet sugar), and the producer who's product was 5% adulterated was asked to please do better in the future.
6. the hardest part of this issue is the common practice of beekeepers buying in honey (either because of a bad season, or that they have more customers than they can serve) and calling it their own. because this is so common, and because honey sold this way is not likely to be "100% pure", almost every beekeeper is reluctant to "crack down", because this is "how things are done" and virtually everyone has bought in less than pure honey. who is left to want to change things?
in our experience, beekeepers are keen to disparage "foreign" honey, but not so keen to look too closely at domestic honey, no matter how adulterated it is (no one wants to "hurt the industry" or other beekeepers).