Articles Posted in Food fraud

food and customs fraudAccording to a new study by Oceana, a large portion of the fish consumers purchase are mislabeled. In fact, during their study, Ocean found that 21% of the species they tested were mislabeled, and were often substituted by a cheaper or endangered species to the desired fish. Surprisingly, large grocery store chains were less guilty of this mislabeling compared to smaller markets and restaurants. While this study may come as a shock, it is not the first time that fish fraud of this nature has been investigated.

The conservation group, Oceana, has been testing seafood for nine years, and previous studies have resulted in similar reports. Beth Lowell, the deputy vice president of Oceana stated, every time we do a study, we think, ‘maybe we will no longer see a problem,’ but we keep finding it, and we know it’s having an impact on our oceans,”. Given the results of subsequent fish studies, Oceana hopes that the government with increase its regulations on seafood entering the United States. However, previous attempts have not offered much improvement.

In 2014, the US Government Task Force on Combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud was created. Based on the suggestions and finding of this task force, eventually the Seafood Important Monitoring Program was set in place in 2018. Also known as SIMP, this program enforces the reporting of thirteen fish species when caught, including popular species like red snapper, swordfish, tuna, and king crab. Yet, fish fraud remains a prevalent problem.

fake honeyHoney producers in western Canada have been showing concern for the way the Canadian Food Inspection Agency chooses to address increasing incidences involving fake honey. Producers believe that the current mainstream way of testing is failing to detect certain types of fake honey, and so a British Columbia beekeeper has spent $1 million in an effort to create a new form of testing that they are urging the government to make use of.

The current system the CFIA has in place to indicate whether the honey passing through them is adulterated or not is a standard test that involved a stable isotope ratio analysis that looks for C-4 sugars. This C-4 test is highly effective in detecting honey that has been altered by corn syrup but misses the mark when it comes to more creative variations such as those that use rice syrup.

This situation with fake honey has caused a major hit on the industry in Canada. The United States, one of Canada’s biggest markets, is treating Canadian honey the same as cheaper honey from places like Ukraine, which is putting a major dent in the honey industry. Also, honey sales from Australia have dropped by seven percent after a major incident with fraudulent honey.