About a third of honey marketed in the United Kingdom as manuka product from New Zealand does not meet the label specifications.

The figure is contained the annual strategic assessment carried out by the National Food Crime Unit for the Food Standards Authourity and Food Standards Scotland of the food crime threat to the UK’s £200-billion (US4282.3-billion) food and drink industry.

UK testing has identified non-compliances in around a third of tested samples of products labeled as Manuka, in terms of quality, declared activity or botanical origin compared to the declarations on the label, the report says.

Manuka honey attracts a premium price based on its perceived positive health benefits.

As with similar premium products of this nature, this presents opportunities for offenders to pass off inferior honey products as Manuka in pursuit of fraudulent profits, the report says.

Such fraud may already be apparent. Some media reporting has suggested large disparities between the quantity of Manuka produced and that sold, it says. This has not, however, been confirmed by any official figures from the New Zealand government.

Image courtesy of beeculture.com