The Manuka honey industry body admits it could have been quicker off the mark to protect New Zealand's product, which is now at the centre of an international food fraud investigation.
The UK Food Standards Agency has issued a nationwide alert to all trading standards departments in Britain, asking them to watch out for honey that has been labelled as manuka but is derived from other sources, the Sunday Times reports.
At least one Waikato company is calling for greater uniformity around product labelling. Manuka Health chief executive Kerry Paul makes dietary supplements and health food products from manuka honey and propolis (resin). The company exports to more than 50 countries, including the United Kingdom.
Mr Paul said it was the responsibility of producers to ensure their products were rigorously tested, and he backed the formation of a single industry body.
All of the Te Awamutu company's manuka honey products were labelled with their methylglyoxal or MGO content, the compound responsible for the honey's characteristics, he said.
"Since 2008 we've labelled our products with their MGO content which gives consumers an assurance the honey they're buying has quality."
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