The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Agricultural Marketing Service has requested comments “on how a Federal standard of identity for honey would be in the interest of consumers, the honey industry, and U.S. agriculture.” Noting that the Food and Drug Administration in 2011 rejected an industry-backed citizens petition seeking such a standard, USDA as charged by the 2014 Farm Bill will produce a report examining the issue, “including any current industry amendments or clarifications necessary to update the petition.”

In particular, USDA points to the existence of several standards for the inspection and grading of honey, including state-level schemes designed to prevent product adulteration. “While some are following the 2006 honey industry petition and using an amended version of the Codex Standard for Honey, CODEX standard 12-1981, Rev. 2 (2001), variations in the state standards of identity for honey are inevitable,” concludes the agency, which will accept comments until September 19, 2014. “The end result could lead to an assortment of standards that vary from state to state and impede interstate commerce.” See Federal Register, August 20, 2014.