COCKE COUNTY—A class action complaint was filed in December against Strange Honey Farm LLC, in Del Rio. Two Knoxville honey consumers filed the lawsuit on behalf of the 100 or more individuals in the class who have purchased Strange Honey throughout the region.
The suit claims the company fraudulently concealed information about their honey, committed common law fraud and negligently misrepresented their product.
Court documents show that Robert Greer and James Reimer, the joint plaintiffs, have obtained counsel in the lawsuit against Strange Honey and owner Gary Strange.
They claim that Strange Honey sells its honey as being 100 percent raw honey from Tennessee, when in fact it is not raw, and is not 100 percent honey.
The plaintiffs allege the honey is not raw because it is heated to make it easier to package. They claim the heating process destroys the enzymes found in the raw honey.
Documents further dispute Strange’s claim of being produced in Tennessee.
Plaintiffs allege, and court documentation shows the honey comes from sources outside of Tennessee, including Vietnam.
They also claim the company adds syrup to the honey as is it is a much cheaper option.
The plaintiffs hope to recover the amounts they have overpaid for Strange Honey’s products, and are seeking an injunction requiring the company to stop cooking its honey, to truthfully disclose the source of its honey and to stop adding syrup to its product.
They are also asking for Strange Honey to establish a testing program and protocol, under court supervision and communicated to the class members, which will require the company to inspect all of its purchased honey products for origin, to inspect its honey before and after bottling to ensure the product is in fact from Tennessee and has not had syrup added, and to not excessively heat their honey for a period of five years.
The amount of the lawsuit exceeds $5 million for the 100 plus individuals.
While the plaintiffs say they are entitled to monetary damages resulting from Strange’s false labeling and advertising practices, they do acknowledge that they cannot readily quantify the lost health benefits.