CFIA increases detection, but test suspect

In 2018, Canada imported 5.11 million kilograms of honey, worth $35,392,813. In 2017, Canada imported 6.66 million kg of honey worth $41,331,228, and in 2016 Canada imported 6.56 million kg of honey worth $38,063,604, according to Statistics Canada.

Before April 1, 2017, the CFIA tested 64 to 100 samples of imported honey a year for the presence of foreign sugars and found three to nine samples that contained added sugar.

Starting in April 2017, the agency increased the amount of honey it tested and collected 186 samples of imported honey, of which 11 were found to be adulterated, the CFIA said in an email.

In 2018, the CFIA tested 345 samples of imported honey, and 26 had foreign sugars.

However, adulterated honey may not be detected by the CFIA in the relatively small amount of samples taken.

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This is because the agency still uses a technique known as stable isotope ratio analysis to look for C-4 sugars (sugars from cane or corn syrups) in the honey, but rice syrup is now commonly used to adulterate honey and the C-4 test does not detect it.

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