Almost one-third of honey brands on sale breach global health guidelines, according to the Consumer Council, which said producers could be watering down honey to cut costs. Council spokesman Dr Lo Chi-kit said tests on 36 types of honey found 10 failed to meet World Health Organisation (WHO) quality standards. One sample - Guangzhou Superior Centifloral Honey - contained six times the usual amount of sucrose found in honey and exceeded the legal limit on sucrose by nearly 70 per cent. Guangzhou Superior also exceeded the WHO limit on moisture content, and contained less than the recommended levels of fructose and glucose. Two other brands - Bright Pak Far Honey and Eu Yan Sang Honey - also exceeded the legal sucrose limit. The Health Department has been asked to act on the findings. A further seven brands had more than the recommended water content or contained a chemical which is a by-product of decaying fructose and indicates poor quality. Dr Lo said that while eating honey that fell short of the guidelines would not be harmful, it was important shoppers knew not all honey was pure. He said the test results suggested manufacturers could be using sugar and water to dilute the honey. 'If you mix pure honey with something cheaper, that could mean a higher profit margin for that product if you sell it as pure honey,' he said. 'It may not be a deliberate attempt to change the quality . . . we can't be sure of the reason behind it without more thorough investigation. But normal, pure honey should contain a much lower level of sucrose than three of the samples.' The WHO sucrose limits are law in Hong Kong, but all other limits are only guidelines and cannot be enforced. The seven brands with more than the recommended water level, or with signs of fructose decay, were: Lai Wan Winter Honey, Lai Wan Flower Honey, Bright Winter Honey, Bright Leechy Honey, Hoi Suen Yuen, Bo San Yuen and Natural High Organic Raw Honey.