The recommendations put forth by the FSSAI scientific panel that says antibiotics should not be used at any stage of honey production, has been unanimously approved by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). It has now been sent to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for notification. Read more
"The fruit of bees is desired by all, and is equally sweet to kings and beggars and it is not only pleasing but profitable and healthful; it sweetens their mouths, cures their wounds, and conveys remedies to inward ulcers." - Saint Ambrose This quote conveys the all encompassing properties of honey. In India, honey has a special status in Ayurveda. D Ramanathan, director of the Sitaram Ayurveda Pharmacy Limited & Specialty Hospital, Thrissur on the role honey plays in ayurvedic treatment. The interview:
The Government of India (GoI) had directed the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to analyse the study done by the Centre for Science and Environment on the presence of antibiotics in honey sold commercially. The action came after the GoI took cognizance of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) study stating presence of antibiotics in 12 brands of honey sold across the country. 12 brands of honey tested, of which two were International brands, were found to contain antibiotics from the banned Chloramphenicol to the broad spectrum Ciprofloxacin and Erythromycin.
Following the CSE study, the Rajya Sabha – in the parliament's winter session in 2010 – raised the issue of antibiotics in honey. The then minister of state for agriculture, consumer affairs, food and public distribution, K V Thomas, in a written reply to the parliament acknowledged the fact that the European Union had banned the export of honey from India on account of positive detection of heavy metals and other contaminants.
After an European Union ban on Indian honey and United States raising concerns on India's role in circumvention of Chinese honey, Indian honey industry could use some good news. But this good news, of impeccable traceability, comes with an indictment that all is not well with Indian regulatory bodies. Read more