CHOICE membership

The purity of Australian honey



I’ve recently read the charges against Capilano honey on the above mentioned website [kangaroocourtofaustralia ] . I will no longer be buying that company’s product.


Thank you @gordon for posting the link.

I had a look and can not find who wrote the article. Do you know?

I personally don’t like articles where I cannot see who wrote it because you can’t ascertain the background of the person writing it:

  • Are they independent, on one of the sides, or even paid to write this article by one of the parties the article is about?
  • Are they qualified or expert to say the things they are saying? etc.

If there is no author one must assume an inherent bias by the author, and a fear of being exposed as the author.

Therefore unattributed articles must be read with a very healthy dose of scepticism, if read at all.

If it was written by Shane Dowling (who owns KangarooCourtAustralia), I do not see he has any relevant experience, knowledge or special insight in to honey from his time as a former policeman and former politician. It appears the website is not about reporting the facts dispassionately.


You’ll notice I did preface it with > If you believe the kangaroo court… :wink:

as clearly it is written by someone with a grudge, not in a dispassionalte neutral manner.
I believe it is written by Shane Dowling, as towards the bottom there is this:

“I wrote an email to Capilano Chairman Mr Trevor Morgan (Chairman) and Ms Annette Zbasnik (Company Secretary) on the 17/9/16 … [link]”

the email from field is Dowling.

However, if you can overlook the biased manner of writing and check his references, I think there is some substance there.

Meanwhile, as the Capilano war rages on, I’ve just had a nice big unadulterated chunk of honeycomb, fresh from our local apiarist :yum:


thank you @gordon I missed that email.

yummm real honeycomb yummm.

I too like to buy :honey_pot: straight from the apiarist :bee: when possible (& it’s not too expensive). On the other hand we buy supermarket honey a lot because that is all we have access to and can afford.

I think there is a place for both, and I don’t agree with disparaging either with non-factual, biased, or pseudo-scientific information.

I think the writer is trying to make substance where there is none. For example:

  • discounting all the testing that has occurred by scientific organisations;
  • the bit about ‘Australians are worried about feeding bees Chinese pollen’. What is the source of this information? How many Australians? How was this researched? What is the problem with Chinese pollen? etc.
  • the presence of antibiotics and insecticides, etc.

Perhaps if valid evidence were presented to substantiate the claims, it would stand a better chance of being believed.


Obviously nothing to do with Capilano but I love that “Cash for Comment” fall back that Appliance stores always seem to come up with when you question them on a product that hasn’t had a good rating through Choice.


What does Choice have to say about your article posted on Oct '16, Did CHOICE compromise themselves for Capalilano?"
A recent post brings up this matter from "Judie Goldworthy, CEO of Beechworth Honey " in the Australian bee Congress in Queensland. Much thanks.


Please correct me if I am wrong on anything.

Her name is Jodie Goldsworthy.

The only reference I could find was on a Facebook page which withdrew claims in relation to Capilano before the Supreme Court of NSW ordered them to. The post only refers to seating positions at the Congress. It contains no new factual information to comment on.

If you have any factual information could you please post a link to it?

It would seem that the campaign against Capillano is causing difficulties for Australian bee-keepers. See the ABC report on this: Capilano and beekeeper Simon Mulvany suing each other as honey dispute turns sticky

As this is still going through the court, perhaps it would be best to leave this topic until the NSW Supreme Court decides on the merits of Mr Muvany’s claims? Unless of course you are trying to stir up a hornet’s nest? :honeybee:


The Bolt Report post on my Facebook page which I read today.There was a 3rd Annual Australian Bee Congress from the 27th to 30th of June 2018.
Jodie Goldsworthy is the owner. As this post mentioned “Choice”, I read the post, I did recall an article in Choice some time ago and yesterday , received an update email from Choice and looked it up.
This post does not refer to seating positions.I will leave this topic alone. I am not interested in opening a hornet’s nest. My only interest was usage of capilano honey and fake honey being blended with it. If I run across any further information, I’ll post a link.


Hi @bigmitch8,

Thanks for coming to us with your question after seeing some comments on Facebook. It’s a shame to hear that people still question whether we take money from the honey industry, but there have been no changes to the situation. We’re ad free, and pro consumer and we still think the claim is without evidence.

Perhaps the only change that has occurred in relation to the issue is the recent changes to country of origin labelling laws earlier this week. These were changes CHOICE campaigned on for some time, so we’re glad to see consumers will have clearer information on the food products they purchase.

@meltam offers some good advice regarding the Capilano vs Mulvaney defamation case, which has recently been filed in the Victorian Supreme Court (PDF). Hopefully, we can all respect the legal process and we appreciate if people could flag any comments relating to the matter if they notice them here in the Community :slight_smile: :thumbsup: .


I found two websites linked to this post, " Save the Bees Australia" and “” It did have something to do with labeling.


See my post from October 2017:

If you have a look at the ‘Who we are’ page on Save the Bees: it tells you that both those sites are Simon Mulvany’s, as are social media pages with those names. Posting claims to multiple locations doesn’t make it true.

Best to leave it to the courts.



A great outcome,
According to Coles it’s Allowrie branded honey that will no longer be sold. Capilano branded honey will still be available as 100% Aussie - supposedly. Same owner!

I won’t reward Coles or Capilano for the outcome, given Allowrie branded product will still be on the shelves at Woolies.

Confused? I am.


i haven’t bought honey from a supermarket since the first time i bought raw honey from a bee keeper. There is no comparision in taste. Supermarket honey will never be an option for me again.


I couldn’t agree more. We have a number of local apiarists who sell their honey direct, where the only processing is that it has been spun out of the comb and (mostly) strained of wax. The variation by hive location and time of year is a welcome treat and the honey is always great …

  1. BIG BUSINESS honey manufacturers (no names because of court action) take any old honey from the absolute cheapest source and blend it, heat it, and then package it.
  2. If the imported “honey” is adulterated with rice malt syrup etc they don’t “know” about it (just like BIG retailers don’t “know” that their clothing is made in sweat shops by slaves and children).
  3. If the product says “organic” it doesn’t mean that it is Australian sourced organic honey (or anything else). The “organic” rules in Australia say that if an ingredient or product meets an overseas country’s “organic” standard, then it automatically meets ours. This is despite the fact that it might come from a country where corruption is rampant and food standards very poor.
  4. Does anyone remember the McDonalds case in the UK? Their modus operandi was to sue people to try to shut them up. This isn’t a very bright idea and in the end McDonalds realised that. Other big corporations still haven’t got the message.
  5. Supporting local smaller caring companies, particularly in the food industry, is the only was we are going to get healthy food. If left to the big corporations we will continue to get overpriced junk.
  6. It would be good for CHOICE to do proper testing on what contaminants retail honeys have. It is a big enough issue now. There are genuine concerns that some product may be contaminated.


What is honey?

Australia has a strict definition of honey, see:

To be labelled honey in Australia, it must meet the definition of:

“honey means the natural sweet substance produced by honey bees from the nectar of blossoms or from secretions of living parts of plants or excretions of plant sucking insects on the living parts of plants, which honey bees collect, transform and combine with specific substances of their own, store and leave in the honey comb to ripen and mature.”

There has been a company which was fined for selling a product labelled as honey, when in fact it was found not to meet the above definition:

Should one have evidence of products being sold as honey which does not meet the above definition, one should lodge a complaint with the ACCC with enough evidence supporting their claims.

Bulk/Supermarket honey.

When one makes a generalised statement about the quality of supermarket honey or that of major honey suppliers, one needs to ensure that it is based on facts rather than the opinions of vested interest parties. One also need to have sufficient evidence to prove any assertions made. If the evidence is compelling, then one should be able to name and shame.

SBS also prepared the following information which is also relevant to the above.

The major supermarkets also sell more than honey from the big honey companies…some which is Australian organic and/or raw/cold processed.

Food labelling requirement, including honey.

With the recently introduced tighter food country of origin labelling requirements, it is easy to see if a company is diluting Australian honey with imported honey. The labelling I have seen in a recent supermarket visit, indicate that the big honey suppliers don’t appear to be doing such. I suggest others do the same, even if one doesn’t buy honey from the supermarket (like us).

Should one have evidence of imported products being sold as Australian, one should lodge a complaint with the ACCC with enough evidence supporting their claims

Imported organic products

In relation to quality or certification standards for imported organic products, refer

In particular section 8 which states:

"Imported products shall comply with this Standard, shall have been under an inspection system deemed acceptable to the CO, and shall be labelled in accordance with this Standard." The standard referred to is the AUSTRALIAN CERTIFIED ORGANIC STANDARD 2013. In effect, an imported organic certified/labelled product has to meet the same standards as a Australian organic product.

Should one have informatiion that any organic labelled product does not meet the standard, they should lodge a complaint with the ACCC.


Most consumers live in our greater cities and sprawling burbs. For those of us who do, the choices when shopping can be very limiting. You may have an independent groccer or specialist food retailer nearby. They may stock Australian Bush Honey at a premium price. Having seen identical stock in numerous different stores including rural local markets is surprising. Interestingly I recall NZ exports more Manuka honey than it produces.

It’s a useful boast that anyone might only ever purchase from a local bee keeper. It’s great to have that choice. I do too! Have you tried honey from Australian native bees?

I’d just question the need or wisdom of all 10million residents of Sydney and Melbourne driving 50km or more once a month to stock up on honey. I live more than an hour out of Brisbane. The local traffic is bad enough without half of Brisbane turning up on a Sunday and driving around looking for a local honey supply.

Is not the topic and consumer deliverable about having confidence in the product on the super market shelf backed by a reliable and traceable supply chain? One that meets all regulated standards? One that Choice as an organisation can support directly?


Excellent research!
Only one problem, who is checking on the honey companies and the honey?
It is a bit like the banking/finance industry with the government, ASIC & ACCC turning a blind eye to “suspected” problems.
All it needs is a whistleblower from inside the industry to come forward (someone who’s livling isn’t going to be threatened by a big honey company).
Certainly CHOICE isn’t doing any analysis of honey, is anyone else?
Unlike phbriggs2000 I don’t have access to sophisticated laboratory equipment, however I am open to employment in this field if he could sort out the funding.


Most local markets have someone selling beekeeper honey, ours do. I agree that you shouldn’t have to drive 50km to find proper fresh food.
If the big honey companies were more honest and supplied better honey to the supermarkets then we wouldn’t need to look elsewhere.