Selvarani Elahi's Posts (42)

Oceana, a nonprofit seafood conservation group, did a study back in 2015 and found that 43 percent of the salmon they tested was actually mislabeled.

Most of that salmon fraud ― we’re talking 69 percent of it ― mislabeled farmed salmon as being wild-caught salmon, which is typically more revered. That means you could be paying for a wild-caught Pacific salmon filet, when in fact you’re getting Atlantic farmed salmon.

Other fraud in the salmon market occurs when “one type of wild salmon is substituted for another, like the cheaper chum salmon or pink salmon being sold as a more expensive salmon like coho or sockeye,” Kimberly Warner, chief scientist at Oceana, told HuffPost.

Most of the fraud happens at restaurants.

Oceana found that most of the fraud from their study occurred at restaurants (67 percent vs. 20 percent at big chain retailers). Smaller grocery markets were also often guilty of salmon fraud. Big chain retailers are your safest bet for getting the salmon you actually want. But it isn’t always restaurants or markets pulling a fast one on consumers. 

Sometimes the restaurants and retailers are the victims.

“What we’re dealing with is two different types of fraud,” Gavin Gibbons of the National Fisheries Institute told HuffPost. “One is species substitution, where the retailer or restaurant is the victim. They’re being defrauded because the person selling them the salmon tells them it’s one thing when it’s not. The other side of it is menu mislabeling or just mislabeling in a retail establishment, and that’s when they say it’s wild-caught salmon but they know it’s farmed salmon. So there’s two distinctly different things, but they’re both fraud.”

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The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation's (CSIRO) has published a Food and Agribusiness Roadmap to which identifies  key growth areas for Australia's food exports.

The document was produced in collaboration with FIAL and names climate change, geopolitical instability and technological advances among the primary challenges facing Australian agribusinesses in the coming decades and warns that previous successes cannot be sustained through productivity improvements alone.

Five key growth enablers arose from industry consultation, each requiring a unique mix of science and technology investment, business action and ecosystem assistance:

1) Traceability and provenance

2 ) Food safety and biosecurity

3) Market intelligence and access

4) Collaboration and knowledge sharing

5) Skills.

The report states that food fraud is estimated to cost around 40 billion U.S. dollars per year worldwide, with the United States (29.8%), China (13.6%) and India (12.6%) being the largest sources of fraudulent production. However, the report also highlights breakthroughs in tracking RFID chips, barcodes and QR codes in food labels and predicts that these will help address some of industry's concerns in traceability and provenance.

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The Food Authenticity Network Newsletter - Issue 6 has just been distributed to our members. It can also be accessed here:

Food Authenticity Network Newsletter - Issue 6

This is a special edition of our Newsletter as it marks the second anniversary of the Food Authenticity Network. So we thought it would be  useful to inform our members about what has been achieved in the past two years and what is available on the website.

As well as this recap, in this Newsletter, there is an article  on the use of peptide analysis to determine meat species from the new Quadram Institute (formerly IFR, Norwich), which is one of our Centres of Expertise. There is news about two initiatives in CEN, one looking at definitions and  terms for food authenticity and fraud, and a coordinating group to look at food authenticity methods in CEN Technical Committees. The work of SGF global standards of running a voluntary control system for the fruit juice industry is also described.

We hope you will enjoy reading the Newsletter and we look forward to receiving any comments you may have on it at Secretary@foodauthenticity.uk

Kind regards

Selvarani

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A suspected fake vodka factory has been raided in Aintree by HMRC, with almost 2,000 litres of potentially toxic alcohol seized.

People drinking counterfeit alcohol are "risking their lives and denying tax payers millions of pounds in unpaid duty that should be spent on vital public services".

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Cyber Crime Police Units in India are to use a procedure of mapping the geographical locations of crime spots identified during the crackdown on food adulteration so as to help the police keep a tab on them.

This is not a new procedure since this method is used to geotag other incidents such as accident hot-spots but it is being used in adulteration cases for the first time in India.

Data on manufacturing units sealed or against whom action was initiated on charges of adulteration will be compiled with photographs and location and shared with all Surveillance Officers together with information on the geotagged adulteration units.

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The Spanish Guardia Civil, in coordination with Europol, has dismantled an organised crime group that was trading horsemeat in Europe that was unfit for human consumption. During the investigation, Guardia Civil was able to locate the Dutch businessman related to the 2013 Irish case of the beefburgers containing horse meat
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To meet growing consumer demands, our food chain has become global, dynamic, heterogeneous, and more complex in nature. Foods once considered exotic or seasonal are now available year-round in developed markets. Consumer demands extend to food products that have credence claims such as sustainably sourced, fair-trade, non-GMO, organic, vegan, vegetarian, and more. But how can consumers verify these credence claims and be protected from food fraud? The need for greater supply chain transparency to increase consumer trust in safe, nutritious and authentic foods has never been more profound. Yet, globalisation of the supply chain is not the primary reason for food fraud, which exists within sovereign nations and may be rampant within free trade zones. The question is whether current laws and regulations are adequate to protect consumers, or whether they create an environment of “blind trust” where food fraud can flourish.

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Food Standards Agency Chair Heather Hancock has announced the appointment of a Chair and seven members to the Agency’s new Science Council. The Council will provide high-level, expert and independent advice and challenge to the Agency on how it uses science to underpin its work.

Professor Sandy Thomas will Chair the Council. Professor Thomas is Director of the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition and an Honorary Professor at the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex. She has extensive experience of leading, convening and generating cross-disciplinary analysis and strategic science to inform policy; and was Head of the UK Government’s Foresight Programme from 2007 to 2015.

The seven newly appointed members of the Council are: Professor Laura Green, Professor John O’Brien, Professor Sarah O’Brien, Mr Mark Rolfe, Dr Paul Turner, Professor Patrick Wolfe and Professor Mark Woolhouse. Mr Rolfe has been appointed to the role of Member bringing insights on the public’s perspectives.

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European Food Crime‏ publishes a paper that argues that food fraud, rather than being an ‘exogenous’ phenomenon perpetrated by externally organized (transnational) ‘criminal enterprise’, is better understood as an ‘endogenous’ phenomenon within the food system where legitimate occupational actors and organizations are in some way necessarily involved.
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25% of packaged milk samples in India fail test

In the recent survey, conducted by the Food and Drug Administration Department of India under the milk survey of Food Safety and Standard Authority, the apex regulatory body to ensure food standards and quality in the country, 25 per cent of milk samples failed the quality check.

These samples were not only taken from dairies but also from milk packets.

“Under the survey, conducted by the FSSAI across the nation, we have collected 45 samples from various dairies and packaging units of the city. Over 10 samples have failed to clear the quality test including four contain sodium bicarbonate,” senior food safety officer Manish Swami said.

He said that samples of Mahindra Saboro, the packaged milk launched by Mahindra and Mahindra, were also failed as they contain sodium bicarbonate. “Samples of Saboro were also failed and many of the samples contain more water. Milk samples were also found to contain a neutraliser (sodium bicarbonate or sodium hydroxide) to increase the shelf life of milk. Many samples had fat content lower than what was prescribed by the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 (PFA),” he added.

However, samples taken from rural areas were found even better than the set standards in terms of fat content and quality. Swami said that they would serve notices to the adulterators and also send our report to the FSSAI.

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The vast majority of wasabi consumed in America is simply a mix of horseradish, hot mustard, and green dye, according to a new video from the American Chemical Society.  

In fact, about 99% of all wasabi sold in the US is fake, The Washington Post reports.

Even in Japan where most wasabi is grown, you won't have much better luck. Experts estimate that about 95% of wasabi sold in the country is an imitation. 

True wasabi is difficult to grow and extraordinarily expensive, costing $160 a kilogram at wholesale prices.

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