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I have been giving MPI the benefit of the doubt when it comes to manuka standards in fact I had considered the standard a bit lax as I certainly saw some honey last year that I believed was nowhere near to being good manuka pass with flying colours. There have been a lot of people saying there good manuka has failed but without seeing the honey yourself it's pretty hard to judge. This year there has been very little manuka produced in Hawke's Bay but I did have one apiary on a block that was planted with Northland manuka for conservation purposes.

Now it wasn't pure but by  eye I would assess it at about 70% pure.

HPLA 2.6      MBA12        M AP 1.4    and PA  590.      DNA CQ   30.2.

So it fails both manuka and manuka blend with a UMF of 7.5  Reasonable  expectation of going up to 10+ with storage.

I apologise unreservedly to all those who I doubted.   MPI have got this seriously wrong especially as by adding enough of another honey to this batch I could get it retested and it would come out as Manuka blend. This whole situation is obviously stupid .

I will be drafting a letter to the Minister and would be interested to have any data people can give me to back this up

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The original standard had 2MAP at 1 in accordance with Claire McDonalds research. This was raised to 5 in a regulatory (political) decision to avoid the "small" (MPI's words) risk of non manuka honeys being blended to create a false positive. Your honey according to the science is mono floral.  MPI's data suggests around 35% of mono floral manuka honeys have been excluded on the current standards. Analytica and others would put the figure at around 19% of mono floral manuka honeys excluded. 

I have been trying to phone you John. Spoke to Russell though. There has been a meeting organised with the Minister 25 Feb. Contact me if you can. 

 

Edited by Wayne
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It’s pretty gutting to have a good Manuka honey that you know is Manuka fail on a standard developed in a lab. 

That honey would have been worth good money 2 seasons ago ...what’s it worth now ....

 

a lot of money went into the “research” just glad it didn’t come directly out of our levy money we will pay for the unsaleable honey sitting in the shed.

That would really have got me “ranting “ !

Edited by frazzledfozzle
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47 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:

It’s pretty gutting to have a good Manuka honey that you know is Manuka fail on a standard developed in a lab.

Ah but is it "active" ? You yourself have asked the question what is manuka and isn't it all about the numbers ?

Edited by yesbut

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3 hours ago, yesbut said:

Ah but is it "active" ? You yourself have asked the question what is manuka and isn't it all about the numbers ?

 

Yes it is about the numbers, which is why buyers are still looking for NPA not necessarily mono Manuka. 

And the question “what is Manuka honey “ still hasn’t been settled. 

Just ask the Aussies.

 

if I was packing my own honey and I had honey with MGO in it I would be putting it on the label no matter what type of honey it was 

Edited by frazzledfozzle
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13 hours ago, frazzledfozzle said:

It’s pretty gutting to have a good Manuka honey that you know is Manuka fail on a standard developed in a lab. 

 

Just to clarify, the labs developed the testing methods, not the actual standard itself. That was done by statisticians in consultation with MPI.

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4 hours ago, Jacob said:

 

Just to clarify, the labs developed the testing methods, not the actual standard itself. That was done by statisticians in consultation with MPI.

 

@Jacob can you comment on that further ?

i would be very interested in understanding how the standard we have now came into being.

If you could keep it in simple language that would be perfect :) 

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Just now, frazzledfozzle said:

 

@Jacob can you comment on that further ?

i would be very interested in understanding how the standard we have now came into being.

If you could keep it in simple language that would be perfect :) 

 

Sure thing. Our lab did a lot of the initial work, so without going into too much detail and breaching confidentiality agreements, I can summarise what's happened as follows, in chronological order:

  • Analytica were tasked with measuring about a dozen candidate marker compounds in 130 or so honey samples. We did this, and gave the list of concentrations to MPI.
  • MPI went away and independently selected five compounds they wanted to pursue further. This list was given to an Australian lab called NMI.
  • NMI measured those five compounds in another 700 or so honey samples, and gave the list of concentrations to MPI.
  • At some point in this procedure, dnature measured the manuka DNA in a bunch of these samples, and must have given the list of concentrations to MPI.
  • MPI gave all the data to a Scottish company called BioSS who calculated what the cut-off levels should be.

In summary, testing labs did not select what the markers would be, nor what the cut-off levels would be.

 

 

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14 hours ago, frazzledfozzle said:

if I was packing my own honey and I had honey with MGO in it I would be putting it on the label no matter what type of honey it was 

 

Yes, and so were Evergreen . . .unfortunately their MGO came from a drum !

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12199800

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@Jacob so it was someone or some group of people at MPI that chose the markers and the cut offs that would be used.

Is it possible they chose the wrong markers and the wrong concentration cutoffs which has now led to many people failing the Manuka standard which has led to their businesses having significant financial losses 

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@frazzledfozzle Correct.

 

My professional opinion is that the current definition isn't wrong, it's just not very good. If we had been given free reign to construct our own definition it would have a different set of compounds with different levels, and wouldn't cost so much to test. 

 

 

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You would have thought that the 'P' testing fiasco would have taught government employees something - in Auckland there are many houses still standing derelict because after the owner was forced to strip them out - all wall-board, plus kitchens and bathrooms etc, at burglary prices owner didn't have the dost to reinstate.

Of course those honey buyers with endless shareholder funds can buy cheap and wait on the standards to be changed - as long as it does not take too long.

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@Jacob Given that the original level of 2MAP for mono floral manuka was 1 then in raising that level to 5 have they excluded some of the mono floral (or multifloral) manuka honeys by doing so? My understanding is that they have.

As with @john berry's honey it has a fair amount of dha/methylglyoxal which only comes from manuka so to my mind for MPI to say it is non manuka is simply incorrect.

 

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In due course it will be interesting to see how much "manuka" is exported this and the coming years, compared to what was exported in the past.

 

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1 hour ago, Jacob said:

@frazzledfozzle Correct.

 

My professional opinion is that the current definition isn't wrong, it's just not very good. If we had been given free reign to construct our own definition it would have a different set of compounds with different levels, and wouldn't cost so much to test. 

 

 

 

Out of interest what other chemical compounds did you think needed more serious consideration?

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4 hours ago, Wayne said:

@Jacob Given that the original level of 2MAP for mono floral manuka was 1 then in raising that level to 5 have they excluded some of the mono floral (or multifloral) manuka honeys by doing so? My understanding is that they have.

 

Yes, though raising the level to 5 mg/kg also prevented a lot of kanuka qualifying as manuka which was a positive move. However, it also created the scenario where some good quality manuka honeys have too much 3-PLA to qualify as multifloral and too little 2'-MAP to qualify as monofloral, so they qualify as not manuka at all. I suspect there's a better compromise to be made on the 2'-MAP level.

 

3 hours ago, CraBee said:

Out of interest what other chemical compounds did you think needed more serious consideration?

 

If I had to create a brand new definition it would probably be some combination of DHA, MGO, leptosperin, and lepteridine. Single test, half the price, simpler and more effective.

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5 hours ago, Jacob said:

@frazzledfozzle Correct.

 

My professional opinion is that the current definition isn't wrong, it's just not very good. If we had been given free reign to construct our own definition it would have a different set of compounds with different levels, and wouldn't cost so much to test. 

 

 

 

Do you not what experience or knowledge the person or persons had who decided on what the compounds would be.

do you know if it was one person or a group of people and do you know if it was peer reviewed if there is such a thing for this type of scenario 

im interested to know just how much thought and real life experience was put into the decisions that were made.

Effectively those decisions have put people out of business and must also have put a huge dent in the 1 billion dollar honey industry MPI we’re going on about in the previous few years 

 

I also wonder if they now think they got it wrong 

Edited by frazzledfozzle
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10 minutes ago, Jacob said:

 

Yes, though raising the level to 5 mg/kg also prevented a lot of kanuka qualifying as manuka which was a positive move. However, it also created the scenario where some good quality manuka honeys have too much 3-PLA to qualify as multifloral and too little 2'-MAP to qualify as monofloral, so they qualify as not manuka at all. I suspect there's a better compromise to be made on the 2'-MAP level.

 

 

If I had to create a brand new definition it would probably be some combination of DHA, MGO, leptosperin, and lepteridine. Single test, half the price, simpler and more effective.

 Isn’t that the exact markers that Umfha were recommending to MPI??  I believe certain vocal South Island organisations were opposed to that and convinced MPI to go the way they did.  I bet they are regretting it now!!

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54 minutes ago, Jacob said:

 

If I had to create a brand new definition it would probably be some combination of DHA, MGO, leptosperin, and lepteridine. Single test, half the price, simpler and more effective.

 

And how would Australian leptospermum honeys qualify, on such a standard Jacob?

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1 hour ago, frazzledfozzle said:

 

Do you not what experience or knowledge the person or persons had who decided on what the compounds would be.

do you know if it was one person or a group of people and do you know if it was peer reviewed if there is such a thing for this type of scenario 

im interested to know just how much thought and real life experience was put into the decisions that were made.

 

I believe the rationale for the first set of compounds was they wanted chemicals that laboratories could buy easily, and for which there was already some evidence in the scientific literature that they may be markers unique to manuka. I think it was someone from MPI who constructed the list, but I don't recall who.

 

The rationale for the second cut is explained in their paper here, but is based wholy on statistical considerations. That isn't intrinsically bad, but there are other factors which weren't considered that might have swayed the decision somewhat.

 

1 hour ago, Ted said:

 Isn’t that the exact markers that Umfha were recommending to MPI??  I believe certain vocal South Island organisations were opposed to that and convinced MPI to go the way they did.  I bet they are regretting it now!!

 

Very similar, yes. We've done a lot of work with UMFHA, and so there's a lot of cross-pollination of ideas there.

 

17 minutes ago, JohnF said:

 

And how would Australian leptospermum honeys qualify, on such a standard Jacob?

 

Good question John. Many of the major leptospermum varieities in Australia don't express one or more of those markers, so there would definitely be some degree of selectivity there, though the scopariums would almost certainly still pass, I acknowledge it's not perfect, but still an improvement I'd say.

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Wasn't that part of the plan? To differentiate us from the Aussie stuff?

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every single mono floral manuka should pass the standards for a multifloral manuka. but they fail. that alone shows  what a hoax this is.

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By all means blame MPI for implementing a standard that is wrong  but don't blame them for implementing a standard. Beekeepers brought MPI's actions on themselves . They had years to implement their own standard but the continual fighting between different factions meant that nothing happened, couple that with rampant and deliberate adulteration and you can see where MPI were coming from. Just a shame they got it wrong.

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John,It was the Chjinese Government who asked MPI to set standards for Manuka Honey.I agree it should have been beekeeper led many years earlier. We have ourselves to blame if the standards set by MPI are too hard to acihieve

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8 hours ago, Alastair said:

Wasn't that part of the plan? To differentiate us from the Aussie stuff?

 

The Aussies seem to be doing very well selling their Manuka honey on total activity which means the numbers on their label are more impressive than NZ.

 

They are also developing their own standard and Im sure it won’t exclude the percentage of honey that is now excluded in NZ’s standard. 

 

Whether the NZ standard eliminates Aussie honey is not going to matter unless NZ can get  a trademark on Manuka 

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