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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: April 24, 2017 10:26 AM
From: Representative Robert F. Matzie
To: All House members
Subject: Standard of Identity for Honey
In the near future, I will be re-introducing legislation (House Bill 1266) that would amend the Honey Sale and Labeling Act to create regulations establishing a standard of identity for honey.

In 1985, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released the fifth issue of the United States Standards for Grades of Extracted Honey under the authority of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, which allows for the development of official U.S. grades to designate levels of quality. Such standards are to be used by producers, suppliers, buyers and consumers. However, the standards for grades of extracted honey in place today are strictly voluntary.

Investigations have shown that some honey producers do not comply with the voluntary standards and often market adulterated honey products that include sweeteners or antibiotics. Consumers might walk away with the highest-quality honey or an adulterated blend. The problem is that both might state on the label that the product is “pure honey,” since there is no enforced standard of identity for honey.

This legislation would require the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to create regulations to establish a standard of identity for honey to apply to all honey manufactured, sold, kept for sale, or exposed or offered for sale in the Commonwealth. In establishing the standard, the Secretary would be required to utilize the Codex Standard for Honey approved and adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, a joint program of the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The Codex Standard for Honey applies to honey intended for consumption and industrial uses or as an ingredient in other foods. The standard should be of great assistance to the Secretary when establishing new regulations for a standard of identity for honey manufactured or sold in the Commonwealth. It is my hope that this measure would ensure the purity and quality of all honey manufactured or sold in the Commonwealth.

I hope you will join me in supporting this legislation.


Introduced as HB1534