We’ve all heard of the endless benefits that honey provides us, and have added this natural sweetener to many a meal or drink to get rid of a horrible cold (a spoonful does the trick), or just to put an end to your late night sweet tooth cravings. This Tuesday, however, Hong Kong’s Consumer Council has run tests on some of the honey brands sold in the region—one of them being an Egyptian honey brand called Hero. Hero was revealed to have carcinogenic antibiotic residues—carcinogen being a substance capable of aiding cancer growth in your body - The substance could also cause severe allergic reactions.

The Egyptian honey brand was found to contain at least eight antibiotics—which sounds great on paper, except antibiotics aren't something you want to mess with. So not all antibiotics are good for you, and the ones found in Hero’s honeys show that one of the antibiotics included is metronidazole. Seeing as one of our writers is a medical professional (don't ask how he got here), metronidazole is in fact genotoxic to human cells, and can cause cancer growth in animals. However, studies show that short-term use of metronidazole has no associated risk of cancer whatsoever. Prolonged use, on the other hand, might be a cause for concern.

The test results from Hero were also confusing for the council; as they found that although Hero is branded to be made in Egypt, the pollen found in the honey shows that it came from China. This is a violation of the CODEX honey standard, which states that "honey shall not have any objectionable matter, flavour, aroma, or taint absorbed from foreign matter during its processing and storage."

According to the Consumer Council, Hero is off the shelves in Hong Kong; however, a quick research on Egypt’s online supermarket stores shows that it’s not out of stock on all grocer's websites yet.