View Full Version : New Florida Honey Regulations

Medsen Fey
07-16-2009, 11:56 AM
While I am generally not a fan of new government regulations, especially in a slow economy, sometimes they may just get it right. The state of Florida has enacted new rules that prohibit the production, packaging, and sale of contaminated honey in Florida. This Article (http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2009/jul/15/local-beekeepers-abuzz-new-state-standards-100-per/?partner=yahoo_headlines) describes it. It may be that honey will cost more, but if it isn't cut with corn syrup and who-knows-what-else, I reckon it will be worth it.

07-16-2009, 12:22 PM
Like the blind squirrel and the broken clock, the gubmint occasionally gets it right.


07-16-2009, 04:18 PM
NPR covered this also.


NPR said that Charles Bronson is Florida's Agriculture Commissioner. :headbang::headbang::headbang:

07-17-2009, 12:13 AM
I listened to a talk in Maryland at one of our beekeeping meetings, given by the woman who is trying to push this legislation through not just Florida, but the rest of the US.

On the surface, it seems like a good bill. I'm all for going after the guys who are cutting with corn syrup, who are knowingly importing honey in from China, etc. There was one problem with the bill, as written at the time, that I saw:

It did not place the burden of proof on the accuser.

Think about this. The way it was written, when I last saw it, Joe from Joe's Apiary could decide that he did not like the fact that I undercut his prices. Joe, being an unscrupulous man, could lodge a complaint against me. "I know what my bottom line is," says Joe. "If she is selling her honey for less than me, she must be cutting it."

At that point, the state would bring me to court, and I would have to prove that I do not cut the honey.

Do you see the problem with that? The "innocent until proven guilty" concept was missing. He would not have to prove that I am doing anything wrong. I would have to prove that I am not.

So, being an unscrupulous beekeeper, Joe has now tied up my finances for the next 10 years, forcing me into bankrupcy and out of business.

The intent is right. To be fair, I have not read the final act, as adopted in Florida. I just know that the woman who was pushing for it did not seem to want to change the wording of it.

07-17-2009, 09:55 AM
I too have a problem with this new legislation. I am generally not in favor of any new legislation and when the government bans any substance it leaves consumers with fewer choices or freedoms. While I agree there's a problem with adulterated honey, why not simply require all honey to be marked as "100% Pure" or as something other than pure and allow the consumer to decide which they choose to purchase? Of course almost all of us (being honey geeks) would opt for the pure product, but what about Mr and Mrs Average Consumer who simply wants a honey product in their morning tea and doesn't care whether its 100% pure or 95% pure? Think of this legislation in terms of pure vanilla extract and artificial vanilla extract. How many of us opt for pure vanilla extract exclusively and are always willing to pay the price difference?

Medsen Fey
07-17-2009, 01:51 PM
I've not been able to find the text of the new law but This article (http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/lake/orl-lklake-honey-purity-071709071709jul17,0,1003633.story) suggests that blends of honey and other whatnot may still be sold, but can't be labeled as honey.

"Anything other than pure honey then has to be labeled as such," said Terence McElroy, spokesman for the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. It could be labeled with the words honey blend or honey flavored.

As for Lori's point about having to prove one's innocence, I hope that is not the case.


Medsen Fey
07-17-2009, 02:27 PM
Here (https://www.flrules.org/gateway/RuleNo.asp?id=5K-4.028)and HERE (https://www.flrules.org/gateway/readFile.asp?sid=0&tid=7351550&type=1&file=5K-4.027.doc) are the new Florida rules. It was a little tricky to find because it isn't a statute, but is actually a new rule promulgated by the Florida Department of Agricultural and Consumer services.

I found some more background on it, and from reading this summary from Bee Culture (http://www.beeculture.com/storycms/index.cfm?cat=Story&recordID=618), I'm concerned that this rule was designed primarily to allow people to start civil suits against honey suppliers as a way of curbing adulteration. Quiet honestly, I don't like to see civil suits used as law enforcement, but like a lot of things in the U.S. what's good for the lawyers seems to be what's done.

The Devil is in the details. :evil5: