Selvarani Elahi's Posts (47)

The legislation seeks to provide the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Organic Program with between $15m and $20m a year from 2018 to 2023 to upgrade compliance and enforcement actions in the US and abroad. An additional $5m would also be provided to improve tracking of international organic trade and data collection systems to ensure full traceability of imported products.

The proposed legislation follows a report last month, which found the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (has oversight of the National Organic Program) was lacking in its control and oversight of imported products labelled as organic and concluded that some fraudulent and mislabelled products could be slipping through customs into the US.

Read full article here.

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The UK National Measurement System’s (NMS) Annual highlights report has been published. The report provides a snapshot of the achievements and the impact of the NMS, and demonstrates how measurement plays a vital role in all aspects of our lives.

Every time you get a Certificate of Analysis for an authenticity test of one of your products or, more generally, use your GPS, put petrol in your car, receive a medical diagnosis etc. you are putting your trust in measurements that are underpinned by a system that ensures they are both reliable and internationally recognised. 

The Government invests approximately £65m every year in our measurement infrastructure, and it provides important support for evidence-based policy and regulation.

  • The report shows that the NMS is collaborative, with 445 active academic partnerships delivering key priorities across all sectors, of advanced manufacturing, energy and environment, life sciences and digital.

  • Measurement enables trade, and the NMS provides vital support to industry. In 2016/17 the NMS offered 437 different measurement services to over 731 different customers across the UK.

  • The reach of the NMS is nationwide, and has a significant pool of knowledge that is shared through products, services, reference materials, event best practice guides and online resources.

  • The NMS is providing important skills capabilities for now and in the future, by running a broad range of specialist training programmes and offering a trailblazer apprenticeship standard for metrology technicians.  In 2016/17, 1,189 people have been trained across 57 training courses

  • Important work has started in identifying the most pressing industry challenges in the quality, reliability and integrity of data.

UK NMS Annual highlights report. 

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Download your copy now

Discover the role of the Government Chemist in combating food fraud, learn the outcomes of referee cases, and read about the research carried out in 2016 under the Government Chemist function.

Highlights:

Food safety: evaluated levels of carcinogenic toxins in seeds, nuts and spices

Food authenticity: assessed claims for the geographical origin and botanical source of honey

Allergens: detected sulphites in food containing interfering ingredients such as garlic

Quantifying protein allergens: carried out research into the quantification of proteins extracted from processed food for immunoassay and mass spectrometry analysis

Foresight and future work:  looked to the future to identify food safety and authenticity related challenges and how best to prepare for them. 

Save the date: Government Chemist conference 2018
The 2018 Government Chemist Conference will take place in London on 13-14 June. Further information about the conference will be disseminated in the autumn, watch your inbox for details.

Get in touch
If you have any questions about the work of the Government Chemit, or about food safety and/or authenticity related issues, email us at: governmentchemist@lgcgroup.com or have a look at our website: www.gov.uk/governmentchemist 

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Italy has announced plans to bring in mandatory origin labelling for tomato-based products, bypassing EU procedures and sparking fears for the unity of Europe's single market.

The move comes just weeks after Italian authorities unveiled a decree implement a two-year trial for mandatory origin labelling for pasta and rice , requiring manufacturers to indicate the country of origin of the grains used to manufacture processed rice and pasta items on packaging.

Italy also has origin labelling for dairy products.

The move is intended to counter growing competition coming from imports of Chinese tomato puree which, according to Coldiretti, the association that represents the Italian agricultural sector, increased by 43% in 2016.

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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.

Read Roadmap.

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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".

Read the full story at:

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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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