Capilano CEO Ben McKee (pictured) revealed that the company will support a new honey test facility
The largest honey producer in Australia took a radical turn after being accused of selling "fake" honey mixed with a variety of different sugar syrups.
When a test showed that Capilano's Allowrie honey included inferior syrups, the company initially criticized the evaluation, saying that Australian regulators "do not use this test regime at all."
But in a surprising twist, Capilano has revealed that he now plans to finance the establishment of a new test facility for honey in Australia using the same regime he criticized.
The CEO of Capilano, Ben McKee, had previously questioned the reliability of the NMR test (Magnetic Nuclear Resolution) compared to the C3 and C4 sugar tests in Australia.
He called the industry to "test" the MRI test to match the "robustness of the results of other tests that are currently based on internationalization."
However, Capilano is now joining forces with other industry players to build an independent facility to test any honey that is sold in Australia using the NMR method, and could receive support from the federal government.
"We have started discussions with the Cooperative Research Center (CRC) for Honey Bee Products and, most importantly, the University of Sunshine Coast, which currently has NMR capability, to establish an independent honey testing facility," said McKee. .
"We have also held discussions with the Executive Director and the President of the Australian Bee Honey Industry Council to ensure that the facility meets their needs."
Some honey producers have reportedly found ways to avoid existing C3 and C4 test methods, and experts have claimed that the MRI test is the most infallible assessment.
The Australian honey producer accused of selling "adulterated" honey, mixed with a variety of different sugar syrups, has taken a turn in his stance.
An MRI test showed that Capilano's Allowrie honey included rice and beetroot syrups and the company initially criticized the evaluation, saying that Australian regulators "do not use this test regime at all."
"Although Capilano has a testing regime that is internationally recognized, we can see the added benefit of investing in new testing regimes to continue to maintain the confidence of consumers and the Australian honey industry," said McKee.
But not all are convinced by the movement of Capilano.
Former ACCC president Allan Fels believes that testing and financing should be done "remotely" from the industry, reports The Age.
He also said that people outside the honey industry knew he was a target for food fraud globally, adding that regulators should question what Capilano had done to keep contaminated products from entering their supply chain.
Capilano also said today that he would try all his imported honey products again.
"Capilano fully supports the improved and improved testing of imported honey and will reject any imported honey that does not pass these tests," the company said.
Supermarkets and honey brands across Australia were accused of selling "fake" honey earlier this week after the results of honey fraud tests.
The laboratory of Quality Services International (QSI) in Germany, which specializes in the detection of honey fraud, tested a range of honey throughout Australia and discovered that many products with a honey content of 100 percent also contained different types of "syrups".
& # 39; In general [the impurity] It's a kind of syrup that has been turned to look like honey, tastes like honey, "said Phillip McCabe, of the International Federation of Beekeepers' Associations, to the Sydney Morning Herald.
A honey fraud testing lab conducted tests on a variety of honey throughout Australia, and discovered that many products with 100% honey content also contained different types of syrups & # 39;
"Although Capilano has a testing regime that is internationally recognized, we can see the added benefit of investing in new test regimens to continue to maintain the confidence of consumers and the Australian honey industry," said McKee (right).
"Everything seems to be love when it's really just sugar syrup or something else: consumers do not realize what they are buying and eating is not love."
Criminal gangs in China allegedly produce this type of honey product at low prices and sell it to unsuspecting suppliers, earning a considerable profit in the process.
The laboratory performed two separate tests on 28 honey samples mixed and imported; the official test of Australian C4 sugar and the new NMR test, designed to detect impurities.
The MRI test showed that 12 of the 28 samples were not 100% honey, while the C4 test passed the 28 samples as pure honey.
The tests were carried out with products sold in Aldi, Coles, IGA and Woolworths, and brands such as Black & Gold, Bramwells, Gardner and Capilano & # 39; s Allowrie.
"While we fully trust that Allowrie Honey only contains pure honey, we also recognize that there is no industry-wide consensus opinion on the reliability of the NMR test that has led to media reports," said Ben McKee, Manager . Director of Capilano Honey Limited.
McCabe, however, said that the MRI test was the most accurate test available and that's why he referred them to Interpol.
The laboratory performed two tests on 28 honey samples mixed and imported; the official test of Australian sugar C4 and the test of nuclear magnetic resolution (NMR), designed to detect impurities
A Coles spokesman told Daily Mail Australia that he is proud to support Australian producers and beekeepers and stressed that his Coles honey is 100 percent Australian.
"As part of a recent review of the range, Coles is no longer in Allowrie honey products," they said.
A spokesman for Woolworths said he takes the accuracy of product labeling very seriously and was concerned about knowing these claims.
"We will now work closely with our provider to review the content of the claims in detail before determining our next steps," they said.
An ALDI spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia that it is initiating an immediate investigation into the claims, and that it will remove the product in question from its shelves during the investigation.
"If the investigations conclude that the product has been adulterated, it will be permanently removed from the ALDI sale and additional measures will be taken with the supplier," the spokesperson said.
Daily Mail Australia has also contacted IGA for more comments.