Baytown, Texas (PRWEB) February 21, 2013
Honey Holding, an industrial honey processor, announced that yesterday its Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) with the Department of Justice (DOJ) was ratified by the Honorable Judge Elaine Bucklo, District Judge US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division (Case#12CR0138). The DPA resolves the DOJ’s charge against Honey Holding for the 2006 improper purchase and sale of honey containing an unsafe food additive. Honey Holding has not been indicted or charged with the illegal importation of honey from China.
On December 11, 2006, Honey Holding purchased, processed and marketed 1 container of Polish honey that had the antibiotic Chloramphenicol (CAP) which is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. In the DPA, Honey Holding confirms its acceptance of responsibility for this 2006 violation. In its own press release, the DOJ states that, “none of the charges allege any instance of illness or other public health consequences attributed to consumption of honey.” Honey Holding has implemented enhanced testing procedures for CAP including but not limited to testing 100% of all foreign sourced honey for this banned substance. The DPA includes the DOJ’s written affirmation that they are unaware of any other instance in which Honey Holding received honey with unapproved antibiotics since December 2006.
On a separate issue, the DPA discloses Honey Holding’s receipt of transshipped honey from China brokered by an agent of Honey Holding’s during the period 2008 through 2010. Honey Holding has not been charged with illegal importation of honey from China. The DPA explains that the broker acted “despite Honey Holding’s written policies to the contrary” and “caused others at Honey Holding to receive fake and fraudulent bills of lading, invoices, packing lists, country of origin certificates, and other papers, which the broker knew to be fake and fraudulent.” Further, the DPA states that this broker “accepted approximately $330,941 in undisclosed payment from Chinese honey producers and manufacturers in exchange for the agent brokering transactions.” Honey Holding has terminated its relationship with this broker, restructured its honey purchasing responsibility internally, and implemented enhanced origin compliance procedures with its brokers and traders.
The DPA documents the full and complete settlement between Honey Holding and the DOJ whereby there will be neither admission of guilt nor finding of guilt. Honey Holding affirms its full responsibility and agrees to pay a fine of $1 million over two years while following continued and enhanced compliance.
In 2011, Honey Holding began providing extensive assistance to Homeland Security’s efforts to eliminate the importation of fraudulently sourced honey. As documented in the DPA, Honey Holding has provided active cooperation and involvement with Homeland Security’s efforts including but not limited to allowing an undercover agent to assume the role of Honey Holding’s Director of Procurement. This agent’s involvement is now completed. Honey Holding felt that this exceptional proactive involvement was justified so as to insure long term legal, food safe honey for the American consumer.
About Honey Holding – Founded in 1940 as Hignite Packing Company, Honey Holding is one of the largest processors of industrial honey in the United States. From its facility located on 6 acres outside Houston TX, Honey Holding provides honey coast to coast to most of America’s recognized bakers and food processors. Contact Information: Tom Kennedy 713-722-8118
Source - Honey Holding
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