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Food News


THIS SECTION IS FOR NEWS AND INTERESTING STORIES RELATED TO FOOD, NUTRITION AND FOOD PROCESSING. THEY ARE NOT NECESSARILY RELATED TO KOSHER BUT MAY BE OF INTEREST TO THE KOSHER CONSUMER, MANUFACTURER OR MASHGIACH.

The following news from Justice.gov on February 21, 2013.

"Five individuals and two domestic honey-processing companies have been charged with federal crimes in connection with a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)-led investigation surrounding illegal importations of honey from China.
The charges assert that the Chinese-origin honey was misdeclared as other commodities upon importation into the United States and transshipped through other countries to evade anti-dumping duties. Altogether, the seven defendants allegedly evaded anti-dumping duties totaling more than $180 million.
In June 2011, an HSI undercover special agent assumed the role of the director of procurement at Honey Holding I Ltd., which by then was cooperating with the investigation. Honey Holding, doing business as Honey Solutions, of Baytown, Texas, and Groeb Farms Inc., of Onsted, Mich. two of the nation's largest honey suppliers have both entered into deferred prosecution agreements with the government. Honey Holding has agreed to pay $1 million and Groeb Farms has agreed to pay $2 million in fines. Both companies have also agreed to implement corporate compliance programs as part of their respective agreements.
The individual defendants include three honey brokers, the former director of sales for Honey Holding, and the president of Premium Food Sales Inc., a broker and distributor of raw and processed honey in Bradford, Ontario. In December 2001, the Commerce Department determined that Chinese-origin honey was being sold in the United States at less than fair market value, and imposed anti-dumping duties. The duties were as high as 221 percent of the declared value, and later were assessed against the entered net weight, currently at $2.63 per net kilogram, in addition to a honey assessment fee of one cent per pound of all honey.
In 2008, federal authorities began investigating allegations involving circumventing anti-dumping duties through illegal imports, including transshipment and mislabeling on the supply side of the honey industry. The investigation resulted in charges against 14 individuals, including executives of Alfred L. Wolff GmbH and several affiliated companies of the German food conglomerate. The defendants were charged with allegedly evading approximately $80 million in anti-dumping duties on Chinese-origin honey. Authorities seized and forfeited more than 3,000 drums of honey that illegally entered the United States.
The second phase of the investigation, announced today, involves allegations of illegal buying, processing and trading of honey that illegally entered the United States on the demand side of the industry. Some of that honey was adulterated with antibiotics not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in honey. None of the charges allege any instances of illness or other public health consequences attributed to consumption of the honey. The investigation is continuing."

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