Supreme Court Issues Notice On Plea Seeking Genuineness of Honey Sold In Indian Markets
Based on an investigation conducted by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) a plea was filed by the Anti-Corruption Council of India Trust (Petitioner Trust) before the Supreme Court (SC) against the Chinese companies exporting sugar syrup as fructose syrup claiming that it could bypass the basic test specified for selling honey in the Indian market.
The SC bench comprising of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, heard a plea that was filed by the petitioner trust wherein it stated that according to researchers from the CSE major Indian brands of honey "were mixing honey with a modified sugar from China which bypasses some basic tests used to detect the adulteration in honey."
The SC on 19 April 2021 has issued a notice in a plea seeking directions to the Centre ensuring the authenticity of honey products being sold in Indian markets. The directions were sought in the plea to the companies to file investigation or test reports of different honey brands or products before the SC.
The plea stated that most of the honey sold in the Indian market is adulterated with sugar syrup. Therefore, instead of honey people are eating more sugar, this is immensely worrying as it will further compromise health in the troubled times of COVID-19.
Various spokespersons from various Indian Brands including Dabur, Patanjali, and Zandu claim that their honey brands meet the regulatory requirements laid down by the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI), and denied that their honey products were adulterated.
The plea was filed after the CSE investigated that the decreased profits for beekeepers despite the increase in demand for honey during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was alleged by the petitioner that in the investigation conducted by CSE, it was found out that most of the Indian brands that also include Dabur, Patanjali, Vaidyanathan, and Zandu, among others failed to meet the purity parameter fixed for the same honey.