The European Commission organized in 2015 a control plan coordinated at European Union level to assess the prevalence on the market of honey adulterated with sugars and honeys mislabelled with regard to their botanical source or geographical origin.
Coordinated control plans are useful tools to better understand the extent of malpractices or fraudulent practices in a certain sector. They rely on harmonized sampling and analysis methods to be implemented by all the participating countries, for a limited period, so that the results can be properly evaluated.
The plan was agreed with Member States in February 2015 and the sampling took place during June and July of this year.
2237 samples of honey intended for human consumption were collected by the 28 Member States, Norway and Switzerland. The samples were submitted to documentary, identity and physical checks, including laboratory tests, intended to verify the compliance as regards sugar composition and labelling of botanical source, geographical origin and other particulars (see "Outline of the control plan").
Article 53 of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 on official controls (OCR) gives the Commission the mandate to recommend coordinated plans where considered necessary, on an ad-hoc basis, to assess the prevalence of hazards in feed, food or animals.
Details of the coordinated control plan
The coordinated control plan was detailed in Recommendation C(2015) 1558 final of 12 March 2015 to the Member States. To avoid informing on all details of the controls before they were to be performed the Recommendation was not published.
The full text of the Recommendation and its annexes is available here .