The Supreme Court today issued notice in a plea seeking directions to the Centre to ensure the authenticity of honey products being sold in Indian markets.
The plea also seeks directions to companies to file investigation or test reports of different honey brands or products before the top court.
The Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian was hearing a plea by Anti Corruption Council of India Trust, which stated that according to researchers from the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), major Indian brands of honey “were mixing honey with a modified sugar from China which bypasses some basic tests used to detect the adulteration in honey.”
The plea is based on an investigation conducted by CSE which alleged that Chinese companies were exporting sugar syrup as fructose syrup to India with claims that it could bypass the basic test specified for selling honey in the Indian market.
“Most of the honey sold in the Indian market is adulterated with sugar syrup. Therefore instead of honey people are eating more sugar, this is immensely worrying as it will further compromise health in the troubled times of COVID-19,” reads the plea.
It is submitted that spokespersons from Dabur, Patanjali and Zandu claimed that their honey brands meet the regulatory requirements laid down by the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI), and denied that their honey products were adulterated.
“This all started when CSE investigated the decreased profits for beekeepers despite increase in demand for honey during COVID-19 pandemic. CSE investigation has found out that most Indian brands like Dabur, Patanjali, Vaidyanathan and Zandu, among other, failed to meet the purity parameter fixed for the same honey,” states the plea.
Senior Advocate VK Shukla appeared for the petitioner trust.