New Delhi: Leading brands including Dabur, Patanjali and other companies have rejected the environment watchdog Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) claims that honey sold by them are adulterated with sugar syrup, saying that it seems to be motivated and aimed at maligning their brands.
They also insisted that honey sold by them are collected naturally from Indian sources, and packed with no-added sugar or other adulterants.
Moreover, norms and parameters laid down by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for testing honey are fully adhered to, according to the companies.
A Dabur spokesperson said, "The recent reports seem motivated and aimed at maligning our brand”.
"We assure our consumers that Dabur honey is 100 per cent pure. It is 100 per cent indigenous, collected naturally from Indian sources and packed with no added sugar or other adulterants. We also assure our consumers that Dabur does not import any honey/syrup from China and our honey is sourced entirely from Indian beekeepers," it said in a statement.
It added that Dabur is complying with all 22 parameters mandated by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India for testing honey.
"In addition, Dabur honey is also tested for the presence of antibiotics, as mandated by FSSAI. Further, Dabur is the only company in India to have an NMR testing equipment in our own laboratory, and the same is used to regularly test our honey being sold in the Indian market. This is to ensure that Dabur Honey is 100 per cent pure without any adulteration," it said.
Dabur also shared a copy of an NMR test report from Germany that stated that Dabur honey has passed the test.
Commenting on the development, Patanjali Ayurved spokesperson S K Tijarawala said, "We manufacture only the natural honey, which is approved by the food regulator FSSAI. Our product meets the standards laid by FSSAI."
He also alleged that it was a "conspiracy to defame the natural honey producers" of the country, according to PTI.
"This is a conspiracy to sell German technology and costly machinery. This is also a conspiracy to defame the natural honey producers of the country and promote the processed honey. This would also dampen India's contribution to the global honey market," he said.
Several other companies have also rejected the CSE claims on honey adulteration. Kolkata-based Emami group, which owns the Zandu brand, said it adheres to all the protocols laid down by the FSSAI in this regard.
"Emami as a responsible organisation ensures that its Zandu Pure Honey conforms and adheres to all the protocols and quality norms/ standards laid down by the Government of India and is authorised entities such as the FSSAI," an Emami spokesperson said.
On Wednesday, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) claimed honey sold by several major brands in India has been found adulterated with sugar syrup.
In its study, the CSE also mentioned the brands sold by the three companies.
A team of food researchers from the CSE selected 13 top as well as smaller brands of processed and raw honey being sold in the Indian markets to check their purity. It was found that 77 per cent of the samples were adulterated with the addition of sugar syrup. Out of the 22 samples checked, only five passed all the tests. "Honey samples from leading brands failed the NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) test," the CSE study said.