Five years ago, about 95% of the honey sold in Serbia was fake, while official inspection data indicate that today 30% of the honey sold in our country is fake.
Rodoljub Zivadinovic, president of the Union of Beekeepers of Serbia (SPOS), adds that the organization’s effort to keep fake honey off the market has paid off and that the veterinary inspection has succeeded in eliminating those companies that sold honey that was not natural and contained too much sugar.
In order to address the Serbian problem of fake honey and make sure that consumers eat the real bee product, Zivadinovic believes that imposing heavier sanction on counterfeiters is the solution.
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According to him, Serbia should adopt systematic penalties for counterfeiters, just like in Western countries. One of these measures could be the closure of the business for two years.
According to SPOS estimates, the fake honey market in Serbia is worth about 1.5 million euro annually, while data on the illegal sales of honey is not available.
Fake honey is most commonly produced mixed with sugar or corn syrup (glucose-fructose), which can still be found in smaller shops and some markets, most of them in Vojvodina.
In fact, consumers, thinking of buying real honey, buy a “kilo of sugar” instead.
“Real honey must crystallize, some kinds of honey to that in a month, some in one or two years, some even in four. When the honey crystallizes in a jar from top to bottom, you can be almost 100% sure that the honey is genuine,” explains Zivadinovic.
He also advises consumers to check the honey’s appearance, because no natural honey can be completely see-through, but it has to be a little cloudy.
(Vecernje Novosti, 09.02.2020)
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