behars Loading... Please wait...


NZ Government on track to announce Manuka honey standard

Posted by Bill Gluyas from an article in Stuff by Julie Isles on

It is hoped that a new standard agreed between producers of high quality Manuka honey currently identified as UMF and the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Primary Industries will put an end to the huge amount of fraudulent activity surrounding the deliberate mid-labeling of blended honey as Manuka honey.

Thousands of tonnes of honey of all floral sources are believed to have been labeled as Manuka honey by unscrupulous traders cashing in on the proven antimicrobial properties of genuine Manuka honey from New Zealand.

Industry and Government still hope to come to an agreement on what the standards for manuka honey are by Christmas 2017

Despite a change in government, manuka honey producers may still see testing standards debuted before Christmas.

The new Minister of Agriculture is aiming to meet his predecessor's deadline in creating a government standard for the manuka honey industry which is awash with fraudsters.

The honey industry currently earns $242 million in exports a year, of which manuka makes up about 80 per cent.

Minister of Agriculture Damien O'Connor says work is underway to get the standards completed "as quickly as possible".

A target has been set of $1.2 billion export revenue for manuka honey alone by 2028.

UMF association spokesman John Rawcliffe says a test for three or four chemical signatures is the best option.

"We are still aiming for [before Christmas] but working to ensure that there's widespread support from across the industry."

O'Connor said meetings with industry have identified flaws in the previous government's draft and he had to ensure changes could be made before he announced the finalised testing standard.

Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) honey association general manager John Rawcliffe said there was enough science between the ministry and the industry to put the standards through.

Rawcliffe said he viewed a new minister as a new chance at the process, but he has not met or spoken with O'Connor yet.

UMF spent just under $1m to test for markers of manuka found in the nectar of the pollen and patenting those markers overseas.

Former Minister of Agriculture David Bennett said the draft for the test when he left office included a DNA test and a test for four identifying chemical components that were under consultation with the industry.

Manuka honey producer Bill Savage says a good standard would weed out the 70 per cent of the manuka market that is made up of fraudsters.

Bennett said: "At some point somebody has to make a decision over what those markers will be and come to a formal conclusion."

"I believe a selection of three or four unique or characteristic signature markers of manuka is the best option," Rawcliffe agreed.

East Cape manuka honey maker Bill Savage said the potential of the industry was huge, "if we can get the testing through – we desperately need it."

Savage said it was widely accepted in the industry that between two-thirds and 70 per cent of the market place for manuka honey was fraudulent.

The matter came to a head with the industry and Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) when a testing method was first floated in April this year.

Savage said the initial test MPI floated "was just a mess" and the inclusion of DNA testing and pollen testing was part of the issue.

The pollens of kanuka trees were indistinguishable from its close relative, manuka trees.

Savage also said the DNA test was imperfect because the honey contained a compound that breaks down DNA over time.

"High grade honeys could fail the test because by the time they've been sitting in the jar for a year, there's no DNA left in them."

Rawcliffe said false negatives from a DNA test would be "catastrophic" to a high-grade brand and the test should be removed from the government standard.

Manuka honey and cinnamon great for your skin

Look no further than your spice cabinet for this season’s cure.Snickerdoodles, mulled wine, apple cider, pies—so many of our favorite holiday indulgences share a common ingredient: cinnamon. While the sugar in those cookies and the alcohol from that wine are not so great for our skin, a dash of this terra cotta–colored dust might just be the $2 skin [...]

Read More »

From clearing up eczema to helping with skin pigmentation and even aiding gut health: Why KANUKA honey has the health industry abuzz

Kanuka honey originates from a variety of tree species in New Zealand related to the Manuka speciesIt has health experts and medics abuzz, as people say it treats various conditionsThese include clearing up eczema, helping with pigmentation and gut healthAccording to some professionals, Kanuka honey is more powerful than Manuka As one of the world's oldest foods with a [...]

Read More »

Manuka honey found to inhibit the growth of several types of cancer

Scholars at the United Arab Emirates University recently reached a new breakthrough in their years-long study of Manuka honey as a cancer-fighting agent.The beneficial health effects of high-quality honey have long been documented by researchers.As Philip McCabe, president of the world beekeeping federation likes to say, “Honey was a medicine before medicine was even invented.”The research team, led [...]

Read More »

How to beat winter viruses by supercharging your defenses – an hour-by-hour guide to get you through the day

Colds, the flu and the dreaded norovirus all become more common this time of year. We've heard from some of the world's leading experts to explain how you can keep yourself healthy this winter as colds, sniffles and vomiting bugs become commonplace.8am: Eat an anti-viral breakfastWake up feeling run down? Then breakfast like a bear.In a recent study from [...]

Read More »

Health Benefits and Medicinal Value of Honey

Florida statute has defined honey as the natural food product resulting from the harvest of nectar or honeydew by honeybees and the natural activities of the honeybees in processing nectar or honeydew. The bees process the nectar into honey and store it in wax combs for later consumption. The bees’ diet consists of pollen, honey and water. Honey is [...]

Read More »

More sugar in healthy lifestyle drinks than you may expect

Wellness worriers be warned: some drinks targeting health conscious consumers have more sugar in them than sports drinks.Others are using trendy ingredients like coconut or cane sugar, or saying they sweeten their drinks with fruit juice.There was no real difference between these and refined white sugar, one Auckland nutritionist has warned.The case against sugar as a key driver [...]

Read More »

Manuka honey and iodine formula for NZ Dairy cows

A new treatment containing Manuka UMF honey and iodine as a teat spray has been a successful way of controlling outbreaks of mastitis and MRSA in New Zealand dairy cows.Previously mastitis was treated with a chlorhexidine product, however Manuka honey is a natural treatment and much safer.Chlorhexidine was used in toothpaste around the world in the [...]

Read More »

Manuka honey can combat a particular molecular aspect of breast cancer

Researchers at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) in Al Ain have made a groundbreaking discovery. They found out that tiny amounts of Manuka honey could prevent the growth of several types of cancer cells, including melanoma, breast adenocarcinoma and colorectal cancer.The team has already filed a patent application in the US on their work. [...]

Read More »

How to identify real Manuka honey

.This whole "Manuka Craze", that even I have found myself caught up in, had led me to do another journey into what I call "The Project" Series in my blog, where I dive into finding the quality version of products I love…..and exposing the bogus onesReal Manuka production is down in New Zeland, perhaps as [...]

Read More »

Back to Top