Our food expert @rclemons who wrote the article will respond directly to those points but is on leave right now - returning tomorrow. There are points worth addressing – thank you for extracting them @jepc.
From my reading the fundamental disagreement between CHOICE and the petitioner is that we take the testing and assurances from AQIS and FSANZ seriously and they don't seem to. It's worth noting that the detections of antibiotics in honey happened overseas in 2002, and Australia has been checking for it right up to 2015 without finding anything. I'm puzzled by the Chinese pollen thing – is this a concern people have? I know people can have pollen allegies that can be triggered by ingestion but as a parent of a child with anaphylaxis that doesn't ring any bells for me. Anyone on here know what that's about?
From the article:
In response to CHOICE's questions about the monitoring of imported honey, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources responded that under the Imported Food Inspection Scheme, imported honey is subject to surveillance inspection at the rate of five percent of consignments; however, this rate increases to 100% if the imported product fails inspection.
"Until late 2015, samples of imported honey were tested for antibiotics; however, due to high levels of compliance over the past ten years this testing ceased," it advised.
The article doesn't tell you what to conclude about that – CHOICE is just giving you the facts. Maybe testing one in every 20 consignments doesn't sound like enough to you. Maybe it sounds like plenty. Maybe the fact that AQIS has stopped testing for antibiotics reassures you – obviously they don't think it's a concern and it's their entire job to worry about this stuff. Or maybe it worries you, and you think they, and CHOICE need to take it more seriously. That's fair enough.
Meanwhile the petitioner's claim that CHOICE isn't joining in his campaign because we are in the pay of Capilano is not fair, reasonable or remotely true. But don't worry, that won't stop us taking our members' concerns seriously. If there's a real issue here we'll take it on; if it's an overblown concern then we'll focus on something where real harm is being done to consumers. In a world where your phone can spontaneously catch fire and release toxic smoke, payday lenders give out fake financial advice to hook people on debt, $21/L camel milk is being sold as a cure for autism and cancer, and your hot dog bun may contain dangerous metal shavings, we're on it.