Fake Manuka Honey - Is the Manuka Honey You Buy Genuine?

Fake Manuka Honey - Is The Manuka Honey You Buy Real?

Manuka honey is special honey produced in New Zealand only by bees that pollinate the manuka bush (New Zealand teatree), which is native there. Many people, including Dr. Oz,  believe Advocates say it is a natural antibiotic to treat colds and wound infections. But the demand for Manuka honey has created a new problem


First more about Manuka honey

Manuka honey is edible, and has a stronger flavor than regular honey. But its advocates claim that it's curative properties are that which makes it special.

Honey has long been considered to protect against bacterial infections and have an anti-inflammatory effect that may reduce pain and inflammation once it is applied. Honey contains hydrogen peroxide, which gives most honey its key antibiotic ability. But manuka honey also has methylglyoxal (MG) which comes from a component in the nectar of the manuka flowers, in much greater amounts than other honeys. It is believed that the MG increases manuka honey's antibacterial power. Consequently, the honey producers rate manuka honey's concentration of MG on a UMF scale (Unique Manuka Factor). To be considered potent enough to be therapeutic, manuka honey needs a minimum rating of 10 UMF. Honey at or above that level is marketed as "UMF Manuka Honey" or "Active Manuka Honey." Fans of manuka honey also claim that is can be used to prevent and treat cancer, reduce bad cholesterol, treat diabetes, and other ailments.

The Manuka Honey Scam

The scam we are address here is not about whether manuka honey real can live up to these medicinal claims; other medical web pages address that.  The scam we are reporting is about the sale of counterfeit, fake manuka honey. That is, honey which is being labeled as manuka honey, but it either simply isn't or it is diluted or adulterated such that it cannot possibly live up to the claims.

The bottom line is that the huge demand compared with the limited supply has created a market for scammers.  UMFHA, the main trade association of New Zealand mānuka honey producers, reports that only 1,700 tons of mānuka honey are produced each year, yet 10,000 tons of produce is being sold internationally as mānuka honey, including 1,800 tons in the UK alone.

Governmental agency tests in the UK conducted between 2011 and 2013 found that a majority of mānuka-labelled honeys sampled in the UK lacked the non-peroxide anti-microbial activity that makes mānuka honey special. Similarly, over half of samples tested by UMFHA in Britain, China and Singapore in 2012-13 also tested negative, meaning they are fakes.

And the strength of the active agents in manuka hone also varies considerably. In some cases, this could be due to the that the bees cannot be forced to forage only on mānuka flowers, which are limited in supply also. There have been increasing turf disputes between producers operating close to large mānuka tree clumps, and also cases reported of many hives being variously sabotaged or stolen.But obviously, scammers are also diluting manuka honey, or flatly labeling ordinary honey as manuka honey.


What can you do to avoid buying fake manuka honey?

Obviously, the simplest approach is to buy direct from a certified manufacturer or through a large reputable distributor and one that offers refunds, like Amazon.  See the Amazon at right: Amazon manuka honey. Choose honey that has both high consumer ratings (at least 4 stars) and a high number of reviews (hundreds), like the one at right:

Look for the UMF mark on the jar:
The manufacturer or owner of the brand must hold a current UMF license with UMFHA (Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association). Of course, counterfeiters may fraudulently put the label on the jar!
Real UMF Manuka Honey complies with all five of the following criteria:
UMF is clearly stated on the front label.
The jars are packed and labeled in New Zealand.
The producer or distributor is a New Zealand company licensed by UMFHA to use the name UMF.
The UMF licensee's name is on the front label.
The honey has a rating of UMF 5+ or more.



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