11 Oct 2009

Manuka honey war continues

7:49 am on 11 October 2009

The acrimony over measuring anti-bacterial activity in manuka honey has flared up again.

The industry body that controls the use of the unique manuka factor (UMF) trademark has criticised a new standard released by Waikato University for measuring non-peroxide activity levels in honey.

The Active Manuka Honey Association has 32 licence holders and owns the UMF trademark which is used to certify manuka honey products.

Waikato University's new standard was devised by researcher Professor Peter Molan who first identified the unique anti-bacterial properties in manuka.

Professor Molan also developed the test used by the Active Manuka Honey Association, but the university says the new standard is based on a more accurate test.

Association general manager John Rawcliffe says there is a danger of confusing consumers if there are multitude of standards.

He says the university is being misleading as it is offering only a new testing method rather than a comprehensive standard.

The Association says the university's move also undermines an industry review that is attempting to resolve arguments over labelling and testing.