Food fraud: news in brief

Melamine in chocolate, adulterated tea, counterfeit olive oil, fake organics in Italy and Russian meat traceability problems.

Has melamine adulteration resurfaced in China?

The US FDA published an import alert last month on chocolate products made by Zhongshan Lebang Chocolate Foods in Guangdong, China, due to the presence of melamine or its analogues – the first to be implemented by the agency since 2010, right in the aftermath of the melamine scandal in which thousands of children were poisoned by adulterated milk products resulted in at least four infant deaths. The consequences for melamine adulteration in China are severe; those convicted of the offense can face the death penalty or life imprisonment.

India finds harmful tea dust laced with colourants

Enforcement agencies in Chennai, India, have intercepted around 4 tonnes of tea dust – the material often found in mass produced teabags – that had been adulterated with potentially harmful colouring agents that could damage the pancreas and kidneys, according an article in The Hindu. The consignment was seized from a ‘godown’ (warehouse) operated by a distributor in Tambaram, Chennai, as it was being prepared to ship to local retailers. A man in charge of the godown has been arrested and the authorities are investigating the source of the fraudulent tea.

Danish police find counterfeit olive oil

Denmark has discovered fake olive oil in the food supply chain – sold under the Karpos brand – that is thought to be cheap sunflower oil with additional colouring to make it appear more like extra virgin olive oil, reports The discovery is the latest development in an investigation into a counterfeit oil ring uncovered by Greek police last year. The oil had been sold to Greek consumers ad also exported, mainly to Germany but also to other countries including Belgium and the Netherlands.

Italy clamps down on fake organic food

The Italian Carabinieri has discovered 15 tonnes of food, including eggs, oranges, aromatic herbs, pasta and fish, that was labelled as "organic" but were in reality conventionally produced, according to the Gazetta di Reggio. While the safety of the products hasn’t been called into question, investigators say the fraudulent activity caused economic damage to legitimate producers of organic food. They visited some 45 companies during the investigation, suggesting the network selling the fake produce was widespread.

Russia reports problems with meat traceability system

Teething trouble with a traceability scheme for meat products introduced in Russia on July 1 as a means to combat fraud in the market has caused supply chain disruption, according to Some supply chain actors have reported difficulties connecting to the Mercury electronic pedigree system, which is intended to allow the tracing of meat products from farm to retailer, and that is putting them at risk of fines for non-compliance. The article suggests the problems have resulted in temporary shortages and price increases.

Related articles:

     Want our news sent directly to your inbox?

Yes please 2


Home  |  About us  |  Contact us  |  Advertise  |  Links  |  Partners  |  Privacy Policy  |   |  RSS feed   |  back to top