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A-NZ: Natural contaminants in honey

Photo: Dino Giordano / Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Food Standards Australia New Zealand: Some types of honey contain high levels of naturally occurring plant toxins, known as pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs), which may cause adverse health effects. PAs are found in many foods and are naturally produced in more than 600 plants.

The toxins may get into the honey when bees forage on the flowers that are rich in pyrrolizidine alkaloids such as Paterson’s Curse, also known as Salvation Jane.

Many years ago, FSANZ established a safe level of intake for these alkaloids of one microgram per kilogram bodyweight per day based on the known toxicity in humans. FSANZ has not established a regulatory level because there is no evidence of harm from normal consumption.

Read the full article at the Food Standards Australia New Zealand website