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Manuka Pollen DNA

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Wowee that looks a good head, wouldn’t expect any less up there, any more pics of the sticks? 

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No more pics. The boys spent the day having a 'boil up' in the rain before heading home to find a place to display their  manly prowess in their 'Boy Cave.'  And the dogs .... the dogs got banished to the kennels for the night. 

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For those interested, most samples we test give <36 Cq for the DNA test. About the only thing that doesn't is aged manuka honey 😅

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6 hours ago, Jacob said:

About the only thing that doesn't is aged manuka honey 😅

 

Which would then make it non manuka ?

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1 hour ago, frazzledfozzle said:

 

Which would then make it non manuka ?

 

Unfortunately.

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3 hours ago, frazzledfozzle said:

 

Which would then make it non manuka ?

 

1 hour ago, Jacob said:

 

Unfortunately.

Now, you have me really confused.

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Basically the standards we have now are stupid.

Indifferent manuka is considered pure.

Almost pure manuka can be non-manuka

High activity manuka can do something to the DNA and becomes high activity non-manuka.

MPI have got it wrong.

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4 minutes ago, john berry said:

Basically the standards we have now are stupid.

Indifferent manuka is considered pure.

Almost pure manuka can be non-manuka

High activity manuka can do something to the DNA and becomes high activity non-manuka.

MPI have got it wrong.

Thanks @john berry  You have just dug the hole even deeper for me.😂

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2 hours ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

Thanks @john berry  You have just dug the hole even deeper for me.😂

@Trevor Gillbanks I think John just called a spade, well I guess ..a spade.  haha It's late is that what you were saying in a polite round about way?

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6 hours ago, fieldbee said:

@Trevor Gillbanks I think John just called a spade, well I guess ..a spade.  haha It's late is that what you were saying in a polite round about way?

 

@Jacob was the one who finally answered the question honestly.

We certainly knew that all our batches of honeydew passed the Manuka DNA test so it was obvious that the Manuka content could be minuscule or maybe even non existent to get a pass but I had no idea that aged Manuka could fail.

 

I’m glad We don’t have any 20+ cooking in the shed !

( maybe thats not quite true :) ) 

 

interesting that it’s taken this long to get some info on what’s going on with the standard and how it tests.

I’d be pretty annoyed if I was funding a research levy right now and this was how long it took to get a tiny snippet of info about something that affects us all so much.

 

The whole standard is a joke all it’s done is put people out of business and put workers out of work. 

How many beekeepers do we all know who are having to lay off staff over winter and how many are struggling financially.

 

The only company that will be able to sell their “non and multi floral Manuka” as Manuka will be Comvita shipping it to Australia and packing it under an Aussie faux Manuka label.

 

Dont you love it how as soon as govt boffins have anything to do do with real business and real work they completely stuff it up.

 

I wonder if there’s anyone looking to take MPI to court.

also wonder how it will go down if in the future MPI change their minds again and honey that was sold the previous season/seasons becomes Manuka but was sold at $4 kg the year before. Would there be a case to answer or can they just ride roughshod over everyone and beggar the consequences?

 

my vote will be a solid NO, not on your life to sign a GIA in the future.

 

i probably should just delete this post because it sounds very nasty but it’s 5.30am and feel helpless about what’s  happening to good people around me.

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9 hours ago, fieldbee said:

@Trevor Gillbanks I think John just called a spade, well I guess ..a spade.  haha It's late is that what you were saying in a polite round about way?

Nah.  Nothing polite.  I don't have anything to do with Manuka, so I have not studied it very much.

However, every manuka honey produce I talk to has the same opinion as @frazzledfozzle and @john berry.  It is too difficult for me to get my head around.

And also to difficult for MPI to fix a huge screw up.

However, beekeepers, buyers and exporters have only got themselves to blame, with all the blending etc.

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I agree with Trevor that MPI standards are self-inflicted on the beekeeping industry. They were necessary to rain in the Cowboys but it would have been nice if they had been fit for purpose and it's annoying that honest beekeepers have to suffer for other people's sins.

Does anyone know which and how many companies have a (special) relationship with MPI and how this relationship works. I can't help wondering whether some of these companies are benefiting financially from the current situation and therefore are again some obvious and common sense changes.

I know nothing about the special relationships except that they are supposed to exist.

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What I've heard is that the standard is not a scientific standard, rather there were political considerations applied. 

 

The resulting standard has decimated those with the highest UMF (which means very high quality/purity manuka - not saying that UMF/MGO is the only definition of Manuka purity, but it's certainly the most obvious one), and should therefore have been relatively better for other production regions. 

Seems MPI/Govt wanted a standard that would level the geographic playing field rather than favour the north at the expense of the south as UMF/MGO does. So has relatively favoured the south at the expense of the north. = redistribution of income (sidebar: sounds very consistent with what this govt wants to do with taxation and social welfare) however by doing so they've shrunk the value/size of the pie for all.

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1 hour ago, Rob's BP said:

What I've heard is that the standard is not a scientific standard, rather there were political considerations applied. 

 

That is only partially true. All of the markers were chosen in a scientific fashion, and most of the levels were too. The only thing which was chosen based on risk management rather than science was the decision to raise the 2'-MAP level from 1.0 mg/kg to 5.0 mg/kg for the monofloral category.

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13 minutes ago, Jacob said:

 

was the decision to raise the 2'-MAP level from 1.0 mg/kg to 5.0 mg/kg for the monofloral category.

 

Did the multi Manuka standard change as well ?

What was the 3pla standard for mono and multi before the change to 5.0 2MAP ?

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34 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:

 

Did the multi Manuka standard change as well ?

What was the 3pla standard for mono and multi before the change to 5.0 2MAP ?

 

It was exactly the same. The 3-PLA levels have never changed.

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18 minutes ago, Jacob said:

 

It was exactly the same. The 3-PLA levels have never changed.

 

So it was only the 3pla that defined the difference between mono and multi before the change was made.

Do you know why 2MAP was chosen as the marker for change ?

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53 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:

 

So it was only the 3pla that defined the difference between mono and multi before the change was made.

Do you know why 2MAP was chosen as the marker for change ?

 

Correct. The change was made after MPI were supplied with some additional data for kanuka honey, so it was probably based on the amount of 2'-MAP in those particular samples. I don't know the exact rationale.

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2 hours ago, Jacob said:

 

All of the markers were chosen in a scientific fashion, and most of the levels were too.

The markers were chosen by looking in the nectar.  The levels of the markers were derived from a CART statistical analysis (the review of the analysis was not very complementary) of honeys sumbitted as manuka.  There was no correlation drawn between the levels found in the nectar data and the levels found in the honey.

Bit of pulling ones self up by one's bootlaces.

 

Looking at the nectar data taken of two subsequent seasons, the mean of the 3-PLA varied by 5.6 times and the 2-MAP varied by 13.3 times.

 

"Scientific"  is a bit of a stretch.

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39 minutes ago, Emissary said:

Looking at the nectar data taken of two subsequent seasons, the mean of the 3-PLA varied by 5.6 times and the 2-MAP varied by 13.3 times.

 

Are you sure that isn't because they are reported in different units? mg/L compared to mg/800g sugar?

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2 hours ago, Jacob said:

 

It was exactly the same. The 3-PLA levels have never changed. 

We have now had 3 iterations of the standard.

 

image.png.8fd77b38111a04463648d95206fa6e3b.png

 

The interpretation around the 3-PLA changed with the change from the second to the 3rd.  Before that being over 400 had no adverse implications.  However the last iteration meand that the 2-MAP had differing levels and suddenly being over 400ppm  3-PLA and below 5ppm  2-MAP meant a non manuka. 

 

The first iteration was "scientific", "statistically robust" etc. and portrayed as completely fit for purpose in a country wide road show.

The second iteration was because "we've got more data".  So just how robust were those first statistics really? - and if any other shortcuts were taken/hidden from view.

The third iteration, which caused the over 3-PLA anomaly, was a direct result of threated court action on the standard.

The choice of chemical markers to say a honey is or isn't predominantly from a named plant source is problematic.  In the case of manuka we have 4 markers, and two of them are used to determine the difference between mono and multi manuka.  i.e. more 2-MAP drives a multi into a mono and the same with 3-PLA.  So one would expect if this belief system is correct, that as the 2-MAP goes up, so must the 3-PLA... at least kind of.... mostly..... . 

 

Since we have nectar data we can eliminate any contributions from other unknown sources for these compounds and can test the theory that an increase in one substance is (at least partly) supported by an increase in the other substance   Using a correlation coefficient we can test this statistically.

A correlation coefficient has a result from negative 1 to positive 1.   A positive 1 inidicates that they are related in lock step.  An exact increase or decrease in both.  A negative 1 indicates that the relationship is the exact opposite and a zero indicates there is absolutely no correlation.

 

So what does the nectar data say in each of the two seasons? 

14/15 season  Correlation coefficient -0.10382

16/16 season  Correlation coefficient 0.19814

 

These two numbers (both close to zero) show there is virtually NO correlation between 3-PLA and 2-MAP in the nectar.   Pick a value of one marker in the nectar, and you can make no related prediction for the other.

 

And for people who like to see it visually..... hint, for there to be a correlation you need to be able to draw a line close to or through most of the dots!

 

image.png.b8e6f0e1dce96c06277404c3f55084d5.png

 

image.png.97c560e6b17164406d17e6d035c8a3f4.png

 

Because of this huge variability in the levels of these two substances, both in seasons and between seasons, there is a fundamental flaw in the reasoning behind using these markers as the basis of the manuka standard - and particularly these two because of they determine proportionality for the purposes of defining mono and multi manuka.

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Oh dear ... i think yesbutt should be writing this, but anyway ....'I'm from the Government .... and I'm here to help'.

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I have written to Damien O'Connor on this issue and his reply was polite but noncommittal. There is nothing further I can do as an individual so it is up to the industry organisations to sort this out and I will be watching closely to see whether Apinz or New Zealand Beekeeping Inc do the best job. The standard is wrong and seriously wrong at that and if the minister and MPI can't see this they are either seriously misled or totally incompetent. If we must have a standard then at least it should be fit for purpose  . It is not acceptable that good manuka honey does not always meet the standard and some is classed as non-manuka. It's as stupid as saying 10% of sheep are actually goats and we have the science to prove it.

PS if you keep the sheep too long it may turn into a woolly goat.

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Great information here, thanks team. Anecdotally with my own test results I found maybe half of my manuka from the 2017/18 season failed the five attributes test, with the fresh honey testing in at a 10+ and DHA over 2000. Good manuka from good manuka sites in Northland. 2map levels were under 5 and 3pla well over 400 so non manuka. Interestingly this past seasons manuka with similar MG and DHA has flown through with 2map up to 10. It seems to me like we're taking part in a big science experiment with this level of variation over just two seasons.

 

To MPIs credit we had someone come and take a bunch our and other Northland beekeepers manuka and kanuka samples this year for furthering their research. 

 

I'm left wondering how our manuka will test next season..? In the meantime I'll just keep on doing my thang, tending to my bees and spinning some honey. Lifes good and bring on winter, can't wait to do something that doesn't involve bees for a bit I've just about had my fill for the season 

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20 hours ago, Emissary said:

These two numbers (both close to zero) show there is virtually NO correlation between 3-PLA and 2-MAP in the nectar.   Pick a value of one marker in the nectar, and you can make no related prediction for the other.

 

Because of this huge variability in the levels of these two substances, both in seasons and between seasons, there is a fundamental flaw in the reasoning behind using these markers as the basis of the manuka standard - and particularly these two because of they determine proportionality for the purposes of defining mono and multi manuka.

 

The absence of a strong correlation doesn't make them unfit as markers though, it is the classification rules give rise to that problem. If the rules were modified, the problems would largely disappear.

 

Also as before, you can't compare that data between seasons because it's in different units.

 

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