A sticky situation

Law enforcement agencies are buzzing over the news of the largest food smuggling case in U.S. history: US authorities have indicted 11 German and Chinese executives for conspiring to illegally import $40m (£52m) worth of honey from China. The executives were accused of being part of an operation which mislabelled honey and tainted it with ...

Miguel Villagran/Getty Images
Miguel Villagran/Getty Images
Miguel Villagran/Getty Images

Law enforcement agencies are buzzing over the news of the largest food smuggling case in U.S. history:

US authorities have indicted 11 German and Chinese executives for conspiring to illegally import $40m (£52m) worth of honey from China.

The executives were accused of being part of an operation which mislabelled honey and tainted it with antibiotics in an attempt to avoid import duties.

Law enforcement agencies are buzzing over the news of the largest food smuggling case in U.S. history:

US authorities have indicted 11 German and Chinese executives for conspiring to illegally import $40m (£52m) worth of honey from China.

The executives were accused of being part of an operation which mislabelled honey and tainted it with antibiotics in an attempt to avoid import duties.

The smugglers were attempting to avoid U.S. anti-dumping laws by mixing it with Indian honey, which begs the question: how can you tell where honey is originated from?

The prosecutor for the case, federal attorney Patrick Fitzgerald — yes, that one —  explained the situation:

The charges allege that these defendants aggressively sought and obtained an illegal competitive advantage in the US honey market by avoiding payment of more than $78 million (60.9 million euros) in anti-dumping duties, and while doing so deliberately violated US laws designed to protect the integrity of our food supply.

For the record I am not the first offender of making bad puns related to this story. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), in a statement, wrote that he was happy authorities were taking this "honey laundering" seriously, and also hoped for the creation of a national honey standard so that this "crackdown on Chinese imports sticks."

I’m just personally worried that this may be a part of a Dr. Who plot come to life.

Andrew Swift is an editorial researcher at Foreign Policy.

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