Counterfeit manuka honey is being pulled from the shelves of major retailers.
There’s been an unexpected wave of food crime in the first half of 2018. In mid-August, $98,000 worth of ramen noodles were stolen from a tractor trailer in Georgia. In Chile, a long drought and surging avocado demand has resulted in organized armed groups assaulting producers in broad daylight. To address rising theft, the country has appointed “guac cops” as well as its first avocado-focused prosecutor, Bloomberg reports. Theft of the fruit is likewise a problem in New Zealand, which has led to the installation of alarm systems in orchards.
Yet, New Zealand has an even fancier food that’s raising legal issues.
Manuka honey is the pricey sweetener with remarkable antibacterial properties—heralded for its ability to heal wounds and burns, aid digestion, and keep skin smooth. The dark, medicinal-flavored honey is produced from the manuka tree, which is native to New Zealand. It has been rising in popularity, particularly over the past six years, growing 33.5 percent from 2012 to 2016, according to QYResearch.