U.S. flag An official website of the United States government
  1. Home
  2. Food
  3. News & Events from CFSAN
  4. CFSAN Constituent Updates
  5. FDA Releases Report on Economically Motivated Adulteration in Honey
  1. CFSAN Constituent Updates

FDA Releases Report on Economically Motivated Adulteration in Honey

Constituent Update

April 8, 2024

The U.S Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is releasing data from a sampling assignment carried out in 2022 and 2023 to test imported honey for economically motivated adulteration (EMA). EMA occurs, for example, when a valuable ingredient or part of a food is intentionally left out, taken out, or is substituted or when a substance is added to a food to make it appear better or of greater value. The sampling was designed to identify products that contained undeclared sweeteners that are less expensive than honey, such as syrups from cane and corn. This assignment follows a previous EMA in honey assignment in 2021-2022 and was intended to identify whether there continues to be issues with EMA for imported honey. 

As part of the assignment, conducted between April 2022 and July 2023, the agency collected 107 samples of imported honey and found 3 samples (3%) to be violative. In 2021-2022, the agency collected and tested 144 imported honey samples, and found 10% of those samples to be violative. The two assignments were not designed for statistical comparison of violation rates. When a sample was found to be violative, the FDA took swift action, including refusing entry into the U.S. and placing the associated company and product on Import Alert (IA). The agency also continues to develop methods to further improve the detection of undeclared sweeteners in honey to protect consumers.

The results of this assignment underscore the susceptibility of honey to EMA, reaffirming the FDA's commitment to testing and ensuring consumers receive fair value for their purchases. The FDA will continue to test honey for EMA under the agency’s import sampling and risk-based import entry screening program. Violative samples are subject to compliance actions, and in certain cases, the FDA may consider criminal investigations.

Additionally, the FDA continues to collaborate with our domestic and international regulatory partners to combat economically motivated adulteration of food products, including honey.  

Additional Information


Subscribe to CFSAN Constituent Updates

Get email updates delivered to your inbox.

Back to Top