This topic isn't strictly legal - not in the usual Fed Reg/SCOTUS/etc. way , but it is about consumer protection and mislabeling. Guess what? That cheap honey in the store? It's not honey! Not technically. Well, sort of.
Most of the honey that you find in the store aisle is ultra-filtered. The filtering process yanks out all of the pollen but leaves in antibiotics and heavy metals. Geekily, the Codex Alimentarius standard for honey decrees that no pollen may be removed unless its removal is an unavoidable side effect of the removal of foreign matter (CODEX STAN 12-1981, para. 3). Significantly, pulling out the pollen makes it impossible to trace the honey, and tracing is important, apparently, because some countries are more likely to be selling adulterated product.
Now, honey producers claim that their honey is purified because that's what the consumers want and what keeps better on store shelves. Mark Jensen, the president of the American Honey Producers Association states: "I don't know of any U.S. producer that would want to do that. Elimination of all pollen can only be achieved by ultra-filtering and this filtration process does nothing but cost money and diminish the quality of the honey... In my judgment, it is pretty safe to assume that any ultra-filtered honey on store shelves is Chinese honey and it's even safer to assume that it entered the country uninspected and in violation of federal law."
I'm not clear how he's getting from "it makes bad honey" to "clearly these people are criminals", but I will assume that they know more about international honey smuggling than I do.
The FDA does test honey and seizes it when they find bad things, like killer antibiotics. The question is how much they're testing. The EU banned imports of Indian honey a year ago due to heavy metal and antibiotic contamination - but according to the Economic Times, 3/4 of Indian honey exports head right over to our American shores.
Here's where things get crazy: antidumping duties are complex but suffice to say, for our purposes, that they apply to US importation of Chinese honey. And people have been looking for ways to smuggle Chinese honey into the US. And folks in the know indicate that a lot of that contaminated Indian honey is probably, actually, contaminated Chinese honey.
Whew! Okay, breakdown: Indian honey is found to be contaminated more often than we'd like. Chinese honey is often contaminated and Indian honey is probably Chinese honey laundered through Indian smuggling rings and ultra-filtered so no one can tell. The US would have an anti-dumping case against the smugglers but for lack of the pollen necessary for geographic determination of sourcing.
I'm not really clear what the big policy solution is here, other than the need for stronger enforcement of already-existing standards. There may be some consumer-advocate action coming down the line against particular companies. The individual solution is to buy local honey from a small producer.