Florida becomes first state to guarantee 'pure' honey

Florida has become the first state -- and possibly the first in the world -- to ban additives, chemicals or other substances from honey produced, sold or processed in Florida.

''Too often in the past, honey has been cut with water or sugar, and sometimes even contaminated with insecticides or antibiotics,'' said Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson. ``In the future, when you're paying for honey in this state, pure honey is what you will get.''

The regulations take effect Tuesday.

Under terms of the new regulation, honey containing anything other than the ''natural food product resulting from the harvest of nectar by honeybees'' is considered an adulterated or mislabeled product. Manufacturers, processors or sellers of these products face ''stop sale'' orders, and repeat offenders would face fines of up to $500 per violation.

Florida is the fourth-leading honey producing state, with cash receipts to beekeepers of more than $15 million in 2008. The industry that has an economic impact estimated at $40 million a year and employs more than 500 Floridians.

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