State Rep. Robert F. Matzie


Matzie introduces bill to create standard identity for honey


HARRISBURG, March 4 State Rep. Robert F. Matzie, D-Allegheny/Beaver, has introduced legislation to create regulations establishing a standard of identity for honey.


"My bill would protect consumers by ensuring that only the highest quality of honey products are manufactured and sold in Pennsylvania," Matzie said.


In 1985, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released the fifth issue of the United States Standards for Grades of Extracted Honey, which developed official U.S. grades to designate levels of quality. Such standards are used by producers, suppliers, buyers and consumers.


However, the standards for grades of extracted honey are strictly voluntary. Investigations have shown that some honey producers do not comply with the voluntary standards and often market products as pure honey even when they include mixes of sweeteners or antibiotics.


Matzie's bill would require the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to create regulations to establish a standard of identity for all honey manufactured, sold, kept for sale or exposed or offered for sale in the Commonwealth.


The bill would require standards to be based on 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 for industrial uses or as an ingredient in other foods.