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Oh, bother! U.S. agents seize 60 tons of illegally imported Chinese honey

By Ben Hooper
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The three shipping container loads of bulk honey smuggled into the United States were falsely declared as originating from Vietnam to evade anti-dumping duties applicable to Chinese-origin honey. Photo courtesy of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
The three shipping container loads of bulk honey smuggled into the United States were falsely declared as originating from Vietnam to evade anti-dumping duties applicable to Chinese-origin honey. Photo courtesy of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

CHICAGO, May 6 (UPI) -- Federal agents in Chicago announced they seized 60 tons of a potentially dangerous substance -- illegally imported Chinese honey.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations announced the 195 barrels of bulk honey were found April 28 in three shipping containers that were falsely declared as originating from Vietnam.

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The agency said the honey was mislabeled in an apparent attempt to dodge anti-dumping duties imposed on Chinese-origin honey.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection laboratory in Savannah, Ga., determined the honey had a greater than 99 percent probability match with Chinese-origin honey.

ICE said the anti-dumping duties were imposed in 2001 after investigators found Chinese honey was being sold in the United States at less than fair-market value.

The agency said the illegal imports create "a divergent market that negatively affects legitimate businesses."

"Ensuring a safe food supply is a crucial component of border security," said James Gibbons, acting special agent in charge of HSI Chicago. "HSI and our law enforcement partners are committed to protecting the domestic honey market and U.S. consumers by aggressively investigating deceptive and illicit import schemes."

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