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The Honey Launderers: Uncovering the Largest Food Fraud in U.S. History
Business Week via Yahoo ^ | Sep 23, 2013 | Susan Berfield

Posted on 09/24/2013 2:05:20 PM PDT by Excellence

Magnus von Buddenbrock and Stefanie Giesselbach arrived in Chicago in 2006 full of hope. He was 30, she was 28, and they had both won their first overseas assignments at ALW Food Group, a family-owned food-trading company based in Hamburg. Von Buddenbrock had joined ALW—the initials stand for its founder, Alfred L. Wolff—four years earlier after earning a degree in marketing and international business, and he was expert in the buying and selling of gum arabic, a key ingredient in candy and soft drinks. Giesselbach had started at ALW as a 19-year-old apprentice. She worked hard, learned quickly, spoke five languages, and within three years had become the company’s first female product manager. Her specialty was honey. When the two colleagues began their new jobs in a small fourth-floor office a few blocks from Millennium Park in downtown Chicago, ALW’s business was growing, and all they saw was opportunity.

On March 24, 2008, von Buddenbrock came to the office around 8:30 a.m., as usual. He was expecting a quiet day: It was a holiday in Germany, and his bosses there had the day off. Giesselbach was on holiday, too; she had returned to Germany to visit her family and boyfriend. Sometime around 10 a.m., von Buddenbrock heard a commotion in the reception area and went to have a look. A half-dozen armed federal agents, all wearing bulletproof vests, had stormed in. “They made a good show, coming in with full force,” he recalls. “It was pretty scary.”

(Excerpt) Read more at finance.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Food
KEYWORDS: china; honey; threatmatrix
Buy local.
1 posted on 09/24/2013 2:05:20 PM PDT by Excellence
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To: Excellence

2 posted on 09/24/2013 2:06:10 PM PDT by Excellence (All your database are belong to us.)
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To: Excellence

So was this actual real honey or artificial honey?

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/11/tests-show-most-store-honey-isnt-honey/#.UkIAmb7n9jo


3 posted on 09/24/2013 2:14:05 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: Excellence
The honey business is only one example of an uncontrolled market. “We don’t know how it works, and we have to know how it works if we want to be able to identify hazards control it.”
4 posted on 09/24/2013 2:15:28 PM PDT by BfloGuy (Workers and consumers are, of course, identical.)
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To: Excellence

Wow. It’s a good thing we have the government to save us from cheap honey.


5 posted on 09/24/2013 2:16:56 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: Excellence

Sounds like the frozen seafood business twenty years ago....


6 posted on 09/24/2013 2:17:10 PM PDT by ErnBatavia (The 0baMao Experiment: Abject Failure)
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To: BenLurkin

All of the above. I will from now on only buy local. I might even drive to the bee farm. Whatever honey I find in the house is going in the trash.


7 posted on 09/24/2013 2:18:05 PM PDT by Excellence (All your database are belong to us.)
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To: Excellence

True Source Honey:

http://www.truesourcehoney.com/


8 posted on 09/24/2013 2:22:59 PM PDT by carriage_hill (Peace is that brief glorious moment in history, when everybody stands around reloading.)
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To: Excellence
We're bee keepers. We've known for a long time imported honey isn't real. We can taste the difference.
Ours is so real, we keep it raw. We just cream it (make the hardened sugar crystals extremely small) to keep it from getting too hard to work with (creaming it makes it spread like peanut butter).
9 posted on 09/24/2013 2:27:17 PM PDT by concerned about politics ("Get thee behind me, Liberal")
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To: BenLurkin

The big honey companies microfilter not just to remove pollen (which as the article states makes the origins hard to trace). The big reason is that Americans won’t buy honey that’s crystallized. Ultrafiltration can delay or prevent crystallization. The supermarkets would be stuck with a ton of unsellable crystallized honey.

The folks at food Safety think that if it has no pollen it’s not “real” honey, I think that’s a bit extreme.

It is possible though to adulterate honey with HFCS, in which case it’s not honey. HFCS and honey are very close chemically, a water solution of fructose, glucose, and a few other very minor constituents.


10 posted on 09/24/2013 2:32:27 PM PDT by DBrow
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To: colorado tanker

Actually, it is - considering that it’s full of chemicals and adulterated with lots of crap.


11 posted on 09/24/2013 2:35:14 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: concerned about politics

Bless you.


12 posted on 09/24/2013 2:36:11 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: concerned about politics

“We’re bee keepers. We’ve known for a long time imported honey isn’t real. We can taste the difference. “

Remember when Clinton cut a deal with China to let them sell “honey” at $0.50 a pound wholesale? I think at the time wholesale “bakery honey” was at $1.35 in the US.

My numbers are from memory and probably not exact. I kept several hundred thousand bees at the time.

The stuff coming in tasted like it had never been bugspit.


13 posted on 09/24/2013 2:36:39 PM PDT by DBrow
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To: Excellence

Buy Pitcairn honey. Get it straight from the source.


14 posted on 09/24/2013 2:36:55 PM PDT by ArmstedFragg (hoaxy dopey changey)
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To: Excellence
>>>Buy local.

Or have your own hive. Our bees make some real good honey...and it's very satisfying to know it comes from your own back yard.

15 posted on 09/24/2013 2:38:04 PM PDT by NELSON111
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To: colorado tanker
Wow. It’s a good thing we have the government to save us from cheap honey.

I'm torn on this. I don't want adulterated crap from second and third-world coutries (or first-world, for that matter) in my food chain, but I also disagree with the heavy-handed tactics of the fed.

16 posted on 09/24/2013 2:39:18 PM PDT by IYAS9YAS (Has anyone seen my tagline? It was here yesterday. I seem to have misplaced it.)
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To: DBrow

The big reason is that Americans won’t buy honey that’s crystallized.


yep, they think that is a bad thing.......................


17 posted on 09/24/2013 2:39:55 PM PDT by PeterPrinciple
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To: DBrow
The supermarkets would be stuck with a ton of unsellable crystallized honey.

Nothing a little warm water can't fix.

18 posted on 09/24/2013 2:40:45 PM PDT by IYAS9YAS (Has anyone seen my tagline? It was here yesterday. I seem to have misplaced it.)
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To: concerned about politics

There’s a honey seller at the farmer’s market I’ll check out. We live in the high desert, and local honey has a certain quality that sets it apart.


19 posted on 09/24/2013 2:42:47 PM PDT by Excellence (All your database are belong to us.)
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To: Excellence

How old school is this? My town has a local honey producer with an unmanned ‘honor system’ stand. There are still pockets of the old America left, hurrah!


20 posted on 09/24/2013 2:43:48 PM PDT by pluvmantelo (We can't expect to get anywhere unless we resort to terrorism-Lenin)
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To: concerned about politics

I’m eating the last quart jar of honey that I bought on sale back during the 1990s, I guess the new stuff will be pricier.


21 posted on 09/24/2013 2:44:53 PM PDT by ansel12 ( 'I'm on That New Obama Diet... Every Day I Let Vladimir Putin Eat My Lunch' .)
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To: Excellence

Honey is almost no different from sugar, except for the bacteria, fungus and plant garbage inside it.

It doesn’t go bad under most conditions of storage because it hasn’t enough water for the bacteria to grow.

Add some water to a petri dish with honey, and watch all the pretty colors of stuff grow. Throw it away without opening.


22 posted on 09/24/2013 2:47:36 PM PDT by donmeaker (Youth is wasted on the young.)
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To: Excellence
Buy local.

Excellent point. I had no idea about this honey scam but i try to buy locally produced honey, beer and gasoline. ;o)

23 posted on 09/24/2013 2:47:37 PM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: pluvmantelo

An interesting prep would be a bee hive or three out inthe boonies...

Honey can help make up for vital calories in the winter and stores very well not to mention it’s barter value.


24 posted on 09/24/2013 2:48:19 PM PDT by GraceG
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To: donmeaker

Honey is almost no different from sugar, except for the bacteria, fungus and plant garbage inside it.

It doesn’t go bad under most conditions of storage because it hasn’t enough water for the bacteria to grow.

Add some water to a petri dish with honey, and watch all the pretty colors of stuff grow. Throw it away without opening.

Which is why you don’t give it to babies who haven’t gotten all their immune system antibodies from their mommies...


25 posted on 09/24/2013 2:49:25 PM PDT by GraceG
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To: Excellence

Mama don’t take my Honeycomb away.


26 posted on 09/24/2013 2:49:41 PM PDT by 867V309 (Stupidity is ordained; Ignorance is a choice.)
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To: GraceG
Honey can help make up for vital calories in the winter and stores very well not to mention it’s barter value.

Also good for cuts or burns. Honey contains natural enzymes as well as peroxide.
There's also bees wax inside the hives. Bees wax candles don't drip like other candles when they're made right.

27 posted on 09/24/2013 2:53:59 PM PDT by concerned about politics ("Get thee behind me, Liberal")
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To: concerned about politics; DBrow

I’m a hobby beekeeper, too.

How do you do the creaming process?


28 posted on 09/24/2013 2:57:33 PM PDT by Rio (Proud resident of the State of Jefferson)
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To: IYAS9YAS; kabumpo

I have no problem with the FDA protecting us from adulterated food products, but that’s not what these people were prosecuted for. They were prosecuted by Homeland Security for not paying a punitive tariff on Chinese honey. They broke the law and paid the price, but I don’t think the government ought to be driving consumer prices up by charging punitive tariffs to keep competing commodities out. They do it for other industries, too. Basically picking winners and losers, like they often do with the tax code as well.


29 posted on 09/24/2013 2:58:53 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: IYAS9YAS

“Nothing a little warm water can’t fix. “

True! But 99.99 percent of shoppers will pass it by. If even 15% pass on it it’s a significant cost.


30 posted on 09/24/2013 2:59:43 PM PDT by DBrow
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To: BfloGuy

AQ is HUGE in honey markets.


31 posted on 09/24/2013 3:02:11 PM PDT by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spiritui Sancto!)
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To: colorado tanker

I read the article. It wasn’t just cheap. It was adultered and contaminated. And it was from China, but I repeat myself.


32 posted on 09/24/2013 3:04:25 PM PDT by Cold Heart
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To: Rio

There is a temperature that honey loves to crystallize at. You stir in very small honey crystals to act as a seed (possibly grinding up regular crystallized honey in a mortar) and hold the batch at the right temperature. the combo of the temp and seed crystals assures that the crystals you get will be small and the honey will be creamy.

I add in a little chile powder and a touch of powdered garlic, sometimes.

There are other ways to do it, too.


33 posted on 09/24/2013 3:04:27 PM PDT by DBrow
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To: combat_boots

OBL was a honey merchant and beekeeper, iirc


34 posted on 09/24/2013 3:05:08 PM PDT by DBrow
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To: BenLurkin

Seems like real honey, but the pollen was often filtered out to disguise the country of origin (different local flora, different pollen to test for). So, it came from bees, but under the FDA standard in that article, it might not have qualified as “real” honey.


35 posted on 09/24/2013 3:06:41 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Cold Heart
I have no problem with the FDA protecting us from adulterated food products

But I repeat myself.

36 posted on 09/24/2013 3:09:00 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: Rio
How do you do the creaming process?

Strange fact - you can reduce the size of the crystals that form in your honey by "inoculating" your batch with a creamed "starter." The honey you have inoculated will reproduce only small crystals (the same size as the starter you put in). Don't know why, but it will. ALL the crystals will form to match what ever you put in.
You need enough starter to equal 1/10th of the honey you wish to cream. Mix it WELL.

If you don't have access to a starter, you can make your own. Grind up some larger crystallized honey in a meat grinder until it's like peanut butter and use that. All your honey will form smaller crystals equal to your ground stuff. Weird, huh?
After you've creamed all your honey, put some aside as a starter for your next batch.

Any questions, FReep mail me. Creaming is really easy, and the honey stays creamed forever.

37 posted on 09/24/2013 3:13:43 PM PDT by concerned about politics ("Get thee behind me, Liberal")
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To: BenLurkin

I know a woman back in the 70s who used to make “Honey” by boiling sugar and water with clover flowers. I think I still have the receipe somewhere. She was an impoverished never left the land type.


38 posted on 09/24/2013 3:15:55 PM PDT by Chickensoup (...We didn't love freedom enough... Solzhenitsyn.)
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To: DBrow

They hide opium in the combs.


39 posted on 09/24/2013 3:21:13 PM PDT by txhurl ('The DOG ate my homework. That homework, too. ALL my homework. OK?' - POSHITUS)
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To: BenLurkin

All wearing bullet proof vests. We all know how dangerous honey bandits can be. Government out of control again. That is the main take away from this story for me.


40 posted on 09/24/2013 3:39:19 PM PDT by prof.h.mandingo (Buck v. Bell (1927) An idea whose time has come (for extreme liberalism))
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To: GraceG

I would recommend against giving it to babies in any event.

I also don’t let my children play in the road.


41 posted on 09/24/2013 3:44:42 PM PDT by donmeaker (Youth is wasted on the young.)
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To: prof.h.mandingo

Either this, or they go back to raiding the Amish for selling milk again.


42 posted on 09/24/2013 3:45:28 PM PDT by donmeaker (Youth is wasted on the young.)
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To: colorado tanker

I love adulterated food products. We call most adulterations ‘processed food’.

Like mayonaisse. http://www.hoxsie.org/2013/03/make-your-own-ivanhoe-mayonnaise.html

They adulterate it with mustard, egg yolks, and all kind of stuff. Delicious!


43 posted on 09/24/2013 3:48:31 PM PDT by donmeaker (Youth is wasted on the young.)
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To: colorado tanker

Gosh, I agree, but some people think that tariffs are necessary for US products to compete.

I know a fellow who patented an air conditioner for bee hives, so the worker bees could all go foraging, and not have some staying at home cooling the hive by fanning air through the tunnels.

Didn’t make any money off it. He would have had to find and sue bee keepers who violated his patent, and that wasn’t a winning game.


44 posted on 09/24/2013 3:51:35 PM PDT by donmeaker (Youth is wasted on the young.)
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To: BenLurkin

It was real honey. The problem was the government didn’t get their ‘cut’ (tarrif).


45 posted on 09/24/2013 3:53:26 PM PDT by sportutegrl
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To: donmeaker

46 posted on 09/24/2013 4:06:44 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: txhurl

“They hide opium in the combs.”

That may explain why it’s hard to get to work on time.


47 posted on 09/24/2013 6:52:24 PM PDT by DBrow
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To: Excellence

bee ping


48 posted on 09/25/2013 3:47:07 AM PDT by maine yankee (I got my Governor at 'Marden's')
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To: Excellence

I am now making my own. Thank you, bees!


49 posted on 09/25/2013 3:49:04 AM PDT by Martin Tell (Victrix causa diis placuit sed victa Catoni.)
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To: maine yankee

bee kee ping (pun intended)


50 posted on 09/25/2013 11:07:14 AM PDT by Excellence (All your database are belong to us.)
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