Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tainted Chinese honey imported to Burma

Wednesday, 29 August 2012 14:57 Ko Ko Aung

Rangoon (Mizzima) – Burma has imported tainted Chinese honey that has been banned by the US and European countries, said an official at the Apiculture Federation.

Bee hives Photo: Nagalim / flickr

According to tests, the Chinese honey contained antibiotics such as chloramphenicol used to ensure that bees are free from disease, said Kyi Lwin Oo, a joint secretary of the Apiculture Federation.

He said people who eat the tainted honey could develop a drug tolerance [desensitization to a drug].

It is difficult to distinguish between Burmese honey and tainted Chinese honey, but the Chinese honey was intended for export and it has not been found on the domestic commercial market, officials said.

About 200 tons of honey is used to produce traditional medicine in Burma. Burma also exports Burmese honey to the US, Japan and Korea.

In 2011-2012 fiscal year, a total of 2,132 tons of Burmese honey [valued at US$2.13 million] was exported to foreign countries.

The tainted Chinese honey was labeled as Burmese honey and intended for export, said Kyi Lwin Oo.

Zaw Win, the director of the Food and Drug Administration, said that to date, the FDA had not officially received any report about tainted Chinese honey and it has not found tainted honey on the market.

Burmese honey is sold in the U.S., Japan, Korea and other foreign markets.

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