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Federal investigation of illegal honey imports from China results in guilty plea, indictments

WASHINGTON - In the past week, two long-term investigations conducted by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) into the illegal importation of honey from China have resulted in a guilty plea by a Seattle-area business man and a 44-count indictment charging 11 individuals and six corporations in Chicago.

The results of these investigations allege that Chinese honey was imported by the defendants and mislabeled as if it was coming from other countries in order to avoid millions of dollars in anti-dumping duties. Chinese honey is subject to tariffs of 221 percent.

The results of this investigation do not allege any instances of illness or other public health consequences attributed to consumption of the Chinese honey. However, tests by the Food and Drug Administration have determined some of the imported honey was adulterated with the antibiotic Ciprofloxacin, which is often found in Chinese honey. Ciprofloxacin is an unsafe additive banned from the U.S. food supply.

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Washington state importer pleads guilty to making false statements about Chinese honey imports

11 individuals, 6 companies indicted for alleged global conspiracy to illegally import Chinese honey