News on Standard of Identity for Honey
We have some good news on our continuing effort to get FDA to adopt a Standard of Identity for Honey. A Standard of Identity petition from the American honey industry has been awaiting action by FDA for over three years.
Senators Sending Letter to FDA
Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) is leading an effort to get all Senators to sign on to a letter to FDA . Beekeepers need to contact their Senators – before Friday, June 26 -- and ask them to sign Sen. Casey’s honey letter. You can reach your Senators’ offices through the Capitol switchboard – 202-224-3121.
After detailing the need for the Standard of Identity, the Senate letter concludes: “… we request that you promulgate a final rule, providing for a national standard of identity for honey, within 3 months of receipt of this letter. If this is not possible, we request that you report to us in writing within two weeks of receipt of this letter on: (1) the status of your review of the pending standard of identity for honey; (2) reasons why a final rule cannot be promulgated within three months; and (3) a firm commitment as to when a final rule will be promulgated, if possible.”
House Appropriations Committee Takes Strong Stand for Standard of Identity
The House Appropriations Committee has included in its FY-2010 funding bill a strong message message about Honey Standard of Identity.
The report accompanying the bill indicates that FDA has committed to responding to the industry petition:
“Honey—The Committee recognizes that honey is produced in the US, traded internationally, and consumed as both a packaged food and as food ingredient. However, there have been instances where manufacturers have been marketing products illegally as “honey” or “pure honey” that contained other ingredients. The Committee believes that guidance about the composition and labeling of honey is needed to protect consumers and the domestic honey industry from misbranded honey and honey-derived products that currently entering the US market. The committee directs the FDA to remind manufacturers of honey about the misbranding and adulteration provisions of the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act. It is the Committee’s understanding that FDA intends to respond to the pending citizen petition proposing a standard of identity for honey, and the committee expects the agency to do so.”