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Big brands selling contaminated honey: study


Smriti Advani,CNN-IBN
Sep 15, 2010 at 09:36pm IST

New Delhi: The honey you consume has high levels of antibiotics. The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has claimed on Wednesday that a few leading Indian and foreign brands of honey have high levels of antibiotics, which could pose major health problems.

The study by CSE's Pollution Monitoring Laboratory found that Indian brands like Dabur, Baidyanath, Patanjali Ayurveda, Khadi and Himalaya had two to four antibiotics in their products, much above the stipulated standards.

It revealed that two foreign brands from Australia and Switzerland also had high levels of antibiotics, illegal in their own countries.

The permissible level of oxytetracycline for export is 10 microgram/kg. But Dabur honey is found to have nine times that amount. It’s 250 microgram/kg for Khadi honey and 27 microgram/kg for Patanjali.

Antibiotic mixed with sugar syrup is reportedly used as growth promoters in the industry. And that is supposedly how it gets passed on into the honey we consume. But the worry is that there are no standards set for antibiotics content in honey sold in domestic markets.

Antibiotics are mainly used to prevent outbreak of diseases among bees and to also in order to increase their productivity.

"Surprisingly, India regulates antibiotics in the honey it exports, but not in the honey sold domestically," a CSE official said.

The same agency had earlier tested colas for pesticides and toys for poisonous chemicals.

(With inputs from IANS)

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