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Sticky Storm Brews Over Accusations Of Adulterated Honey

Capilano has defended the quality of its honey following media reports the Allowrie-branded Mixed Blossom Honey it packages was being mixed with other substances.

Capilano managing director Ben McKee criticised the method of honey testing commissioned by law firm King & Wood Mallesons - the results of which prompted the reports by the ABC and Fairfax Media - saying the results were inconsistent and different to official Australian testing.

Experts told Fairfax that adulterated honey was generally bulked up with rice syrup and beet syrup and other unidentified substances, which aren’t detected by official honey tests.

Fraudsters, often criminal gangs in China, produce the fake honey and sell it to unsuspecting suppliers at a higher price, making a fortune along the way.

Dr McKee said the nuclear magnetic resolution (NMR) relied on a database of reference honeys in which honeys local to Australia were under represented.

"We call on the industry to work to prove up the NMR test so that it matches the robustness of results from other testing currently relied on internationally," Dr McKee said.

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Meanwhile, Bega Cheese has confirmed it bought a parcel of shares in Capilano Honey, raising the prospect of a bidding war for the ASX-listed honey firm.

Bega says it paid $5.38 million for 255,291 Capilano shares on Friday, at an average of $21.08 per security, taking its stake in the company to 5.76 per cent.

Bega's purchase should make it the second largest shareholder in Capilano, which last month said it had received a bid from Australian-Chinese private equity fund Wattle Hill.

AAP

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