In a shocking finding by the Centre for Science and Environment, all major honey brands including Dabur, Zandu, Baidyanath, Patanjali and Himalaya have been found to be adulterated with Chinese sugar syrup. Only three brands namely Saffola, Markfed Sohna and Nature’s Nectar have passed the test.
An in-depth study by the CSE, which publishes the popular magazine Down To Earth, showed how big brands had been spiking their honey with a high volume of sugar syrup, thereby putting people’s lives at risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CSE had sent honey samples of brands such as Dabur, Ramdev Baba’s Patanjali, Zandu, Baidyanath, Apis Himalaya and Hitkari to a German lab. Except for three brands, all samples failed the test.
Environmentalist Sunita Narain, who runs the CSE, took to Twitter to share her findings. She said that the CSE had ‘adulterated samples of pure honey’ with Chinese and Indian ‘all pass’ syrups at 25%, 50% and 75%. Much to their horror, samples with 25% and 50% adulteration passed the test in India. The CSE said, “We confirm that sugar syrups exist that can bypass the 2020 FSSAI for honey.”
(7) When adulterated honey passes pic.twitter.com/V1wwHdyCUW
— Sunita Narain (@sunitanar) December 2, 2020
Patanjali received flak from netizens as they reacted with ‘I-told-you-so’ lines.
Have never bought a Patanjali product, will never buy.
— Dushyant (@atti_cus) December 3, 2020
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They are ‘Nationalists’. But you are anti-National if you use CamScanner app ?
— Srivatsa (@srivatsayb) December 3, 2020
After reports of adulteration in Patanjali Honey, Bhakts who have been consuming Patanjali Gaumutra are worried.
— PuNsTeR™ (@Pun_Starr) December 3, 2020
So Mr Patanjali was not only selling adulterated honey, horror of horrors, he was selling anti national adulterated honey using Chinese Fructose. At least he could have adulterated using Indian fructose syrup. Kadi Ninda. ?????????????#JustSaying #Honey
— Prosenjit Datta (@ProsaicView) December 3, 2020
Reacting to the CSE findings, Patanjali said that ‘it seems to be a plot to defame Indian natural honey industry.’ Kolkata-based Emami group, which owns the Zandu brand, reiterated that it adhered to all protocols laid down by the FSSAI. It, however, did not explain why honey samples with up to 50% adulteration had passed the FSSAI test but failed the test in Germany. Dabur too emphasised that it was selling pure honey.