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Food fraud too big to stomach? - Story - World

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  • Food fraud too big to stomach? - Story - World

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    Food fraud too big to stomach?
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    A bottle of fake Champagne (Reuters file)
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    Food fraud too big to stomach?
    cheap watches Six months after Europe was rocked by the horse meat scandal , food industry experts say food fraud is a bigger problem than many consumers recognise. cheap watches Pan-European police force Europol has found counterfeiting is on the increase, helped by the economic crisis. <a href="http://www.loveyouwatches.com">copy watches</a> Police in Spain have raided properties and found stores of counterfeit goods such as caviar, thought to be from China, which can fetch high prices on the black market. cheap watches The problem is not only a fraudulent one but a potential lethal threat as well. "Certainly there have been instances where vodka has caused methanol poisoning," says Russell Bignell from Wandsworth Council in South London. "People have died from drinking counterfeit alcohol and often the taste is the first indicator of course, for a member of the public." Mr Bignell compares a bottle of fake Bollinger Champagne to a real one. "On the counterfeit, clearly the quality of the printing is not very good, as opposed to the original here where the red label is actually deeper, shiny, gloss quality and the gold print is embossed." Along with knock-off watches and fake designer clothes, trading standards officers often come across counterfeit food and drink. Mitchell Weinberg, Founder and CEO of Inscatech, a private food fraud and supply chain protection company, highlights the challenged posed by the often circuitous route food takes and the potential for global fraud. "The challenge for governments is that they can only start enforcing once the food hits the border and because most of the food or ingredients that come in to most countries come from other parts of the world, there's little that governments can do to enforce food fraud protection provisions," he says. "The private sector is taking a more active role." Weinberg says the recent horse meat contamination scandal in Europe was not unexpected. "I wasn't terribly surprised at all, I didn't realise they were going to use horse meat, but meat adulteration is very common in other parts of the world. It is just one kind of adulteration, we've seen more egregious cases in China where they've used rat meat." Food testing has been stepped up following the horse meat scandal but experts say that it doesn't tackle the causes of global food fraud, and the world's biggest producers need to take action to clearly identify every part of their supply chain.
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