The non-profit True Source Honey Certification® Program ( whose mission is to protect consumers, beekeepers, retailers and manufacturers from illegally sourced honey, applauded the Netflix documentary "Rotten" for shining a light on the ongoing challenges faced by the honey industry. The premiere episode of "Rotten" which began streaming on January 5, focuses on honey adulteration and circumvention which resulted in a large food fraud case prosecuted in the United States.

"Honey adulteration erodes public trust and undermines the work of honest beekeepers and packers," said Gordon Marks, executive director of True Source Honey. "It's the reason we launched the True Source Honey Certification® program."

Honey adulteration and the illegal practice of transshipping honey threaten the honey industry in North American by undercutting fair market prices and damaging honey's reputation for quality and safety. As highlighted in the documentary, the domestic honey industry has faced repeated problems with honey that is illegally transshipped from China through third countries to avoid anti-dumping duties.

The True Source Honey Certification® Program is an industry-sponsored, voluntary program established to combat the problem of illegally shipped honey. 

"Honey packers, exporters and importers who become True Source Certified® and registered are held to the highest sourcing standards – verified by outside third-party auditors to ensure that all honey purchases are openly declared and that no illegally circumvented Chinese honey enters their supply chains," said Marks. "They are also required to maintain a system to test honey purity."

The True Source Honey program provides traceability from hive to table, helping ensure the food safety and security of honey, said Marks. Companies that are True Source Certified® represent about 30% of all honey sold in North America.