Honey's nothing more than bee vomit.
In spite of its origins, there are plenty of people who mix it into cakes and spread it on toast and suck it down by the spoonful. Some think that consuming modest amounts of honey made from the pollens to which you're allergic will stave off the allergy.
There's a market for bee vomit, in other words. A market lucrative enough to have attracted smugglers.
It's a German concern, Alfred L. Wolff Inc., that's at the center of this shady operation. Magnus Von Buddenbrock and Stefanie Giesselbach were rumbled in their Chicago offices recently and charged with conspiracy, for shipping honey around the world in attempt to disguise its origin.
Wouldn't you know, the honey comes originally from China. There's a country that really understands the concept of the worker bees who toil unto death for the queen bee who reaps all the rewards with no effort.
To protect American honey producers, the U.S. government slaps big tariffs on foreign honey. It keeps the Chinese from dumping their product at non-competitive prices, and when the laborers work for next to nothing, it's tough for Americans to make a go of it.
Of course, the Chinese are keen to sell their honey at their price, and if it takes a bit of a shell game to do it, well, there's no slogans about honesty in Mao's little red book.
The Germans are cooperating with the Feds, which has led to the arrest of Yong Xiang Yan, president of a Chinese honey company. He was picked up at LAX, along with his associate who is wanted in Seattle on another "honey-laundering" charge.
Who'd have thought that there was so much gold in spew?
And now aren't you wondering if there's melamine or some other deadly contaminant in that sticky bottle on the kitchen counter?