New York City Council Header
File #: Res 0012-2014    Version: * Name: Define honey and provide standards for honey sold in the State.
Type: Resolution Status: Filed (End of Session)
Committee: Committee on Health
On agenda: 2/4/2014
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling upon the New York State legislature to pass and the governor to sign legislation that would define honey and provide standards for honey sold in the State.
Sponsors: Stephen T. Levin, Vanessa L. Gibson, Annabel Palma
Council Member Sponsors: 3
Res. No. 12
 
 
Resolution calling upon the New York State legislature to pass and the governor to sign legislation that would define honey and provide standards for honey sold in the State.
 
 
By Council Members Levin, Gibson and Palma
 
Whereas, New York State ranked 14th in the country in honey production in 2012 and is the largest beekeeping state in the Northeast, according to the United States Department of Agriculture; and  
Whereas, However, the Empire State Honey Producers Association asserts that "honey from other countries comes into the United States with labels calling it 'pure honey' but in fact much of it is not pure with items such as high fructose corn syrup, rice syrup and antibiotics added to it;" and
Whereas, According to Food Safety News, millions of pounds of honey that were banned and determined unsafe in other countries are being imported and sold in the United States; and  
Whereas, Specifically, impurities such as lead and chloramphenicol have been found in honey from India and China resulting in the European Union banning honey from these countries; and
Whereas, In 2001, the Federal Trade Commission imposed strict import taxes on Chinese producers to stop the influx of altered, harmful honey into the Unites States; and    
Whereas, According to news reports, to avoid the tariff Chinese producers began shipping their honey to other countries, such as India where it was repackaged and then sent to the United States; and    
Whereas, In 2010, The Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") seized 64 drums of imported Chinese honey because it contained an antibiotic that could lead to serious illness or death; and
Whereas, Despite the evidence of unsafe honey importation, Food Safety News states that the FDA tests only 5 percent of imported honey; and  
Whereas, Advocates believe that the FDA devotes little time and effort to inspecting imported honey because of a lack of interest and resources; and
Whereas, In fact, FDA officials stated that a national purity standard for honey would "tax the abilities of an already overstretched agency;" and  
Whereas, In 2011, the Unites States imported 45 million pounds of honey from India, a country known for laundering Chinese honey; and
Whereas, Advocates are in favor of legislation that would impose a "standard of identification to assure the public that the honey we are selling is pure and unadulterated;" and  
Whereas, States such as Florida, California, Wisconsin, and North Carolina have already adopted legislation that provides a standard for honey and identified a state agency to enforce the standard; and   
Whereas, Establishing honey standards in New York would help protect consumers from being misled and protect local beekeepers and honey producers from mixing, blending and selling inferior products; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon the New York State legislature to pass and the governor to sign legislation that would define honey and provide standards for honey sold in the State.
 
PD 1/23/14
Res. No. 1897/2013
LS#321/2014