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Parliamentary questions
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1 July 2020
Priority question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Alessandro Panza (ID), Rosanna Conte (ID), Stefania Zambelli (ID), Francesca Donato (ID), Mara Bizzotto (ID), Matteo Adinolfi (ID), Alessandra Basso (ID), Simona Baldassarre (ID), Valentino Grant (ID), Luisa Regimenti (ID), Danilo Oscar Lancini (ID), Paolo Borchia (ID), Marco Campomenosi (ID)
 Subject: Imports of fake honey from China

Representatives of the Italian apiculture industry recently spoke out against imports of fake honey from China, which are damaging Italian producers. This type of honey costs just one euro to produce, and is made by technicians in a laboratory.

This leaves beekeepers facing unfair competition from a country which uses underpaid (mainly child) labour to engineer honey through in-lab pollination and accelerated dehumidification and maturation processes, performed at speeds unmatched in nature, resulting in a product with an unacceptably high sugar syrup content.

To date, more than 80 000 tonnes of fake honey have been imported from China at prices that undercut the Italian product by between EUR 2.5 and EUR 4. In Italy, bee pollination is necessary for 75% of all agricultural production. The industry involves 63 000 beekeepers with 1.5 million hives and 220 000 queen bees, and produces 23 000 tonnes of over 60 different varieties of honey.

Considering the above, can the Commission clarify:

1. How it intends to protect the European honey market and honey producers from this kind of unfair competition?

2. What type of checks will it introduce at the EU’s borders to protect European consumers from this counterfeit product, which is so difficult to spot?


(1)This question is supported by Members other than the authors: Silvia Sardone (ID), Isabella Tovaglieri (ID), Massimo Casanova (ID), Marco Dreosto (ID), Elena Lizzi (ID)
Original language of question: IT
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