Hello to everyone... I am a Microbiologist. Honey is not given to infants or recommended for the aged (70 ) as they do not have sufficient stomach acid to prevent the botulism spores from breaking out of spore and developing into the bacteria that produce botulin toxin.
Regarding giving honey to infants: RAW honey should not be given to infants as it may transmit INFANT BOTULISM. It is my understnding that after they are a year old, a child is no longer susceptible to problem. I doubt what is commonly given to infants in India is raw honey, but rather honey that has been properly heated or processed so that botulism is not a problem.
EC: We sent S's email to a dear friend of ours from India (who now lives in the USA) for another opinion. This was our friend's response:
"I remember that my mother was very surprised when I told her that infants should not be fed honey for the first year. In India, honey is given very routinely for the reasons that this person's email mentioned. On the other hand, in India, scientific research can be a little shady. Also, the value of life is less. One infant less due to an allergic reaction to honey counts for little, sadly. Also, infants here are different and are born with different immune systems. I don't think you should recommend honey for US infants.
I heard something really interesting from an Indian parent in the US the other day. She was saying that her child, with two biological Indian parents, had a host of allergies. This is apparently very common for children of Indian parents who are born in the US. It is surmised that these children inherit, through their birth, highly evolved immune systems that are used to battling a lot of germs. But in the US there are comparitively few diseases to combat with the result that these highly evolved immune systems have nothing to do. They then turn on themselves and create all sorts of allergies. Isn't that interesting?
But I don't think it would be wise for you to recommend honey. The consequences could be disastrous for that one infant who can't take it. "