[27 June/ Radio NZ]

Australian scientists have developed a process for authenticating a West Australian honey from the state’s jarrah and marri trees as having medicinal properties to rival mānuka. The scientists said their Western Australian honey has higher levels of antimicrobial activity than New Zealand Mānuka honey, and they plan to put it on the market after certification. UMF Honey Association’s John Rawcliffe said their science was misleading and could be damaging for New Zealand’s market. Mr Rawcliffe said the scientists define antimicrobial activity as total activity- a peroxide activity found in all honey, and believes that although the comparison is misleading, the uniqueness of Manuka will prevail. Mr Rawcliffe said Manuka has unique properties over and above the peroxide activity of honey.