Analyst Insight by Simone Baroke - Contributing Analyst
Food fraud has been committed since the dawn of time. A recent draft report issued by the European Union highlights that health and wellness-positioned products are at the top of the list in terms of mislabelling and adulteration. Unfortunately, the challenging economic climate only encourages this kind of activity, and as government watchdogs’ resources are already overstretched and primarily concerned with food safety, the main burden when it comes to curbing fraud will continue to fall on the industry.
Fraud Hard to Track
In mid-October 2013, the European Union issued a draft report, citing the 10 types of food and beverage products most susceptible to fraud. (The final, official version of the report is expected to be published sometime in November.)
Olive oil, fish and organic foods occupy the top three slots. Cheating is very difficult to detect, particularly, as the report points out, in products that contain powders, pastes and liquids. Fruit juices, for instance, may be labelled “not from concentrate” when, in fact, they are reconstituted, or they may lack a specific “superfruit” component, such as the relatively expensive acai berries. Fruit juices occupy 10th place in the report.