Norway’s food institute unveils new fraud standard

A team led by a scientist at the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research (Nofima) has created a standard that seeks to define various forms of food fraud.

The new document aims to tackle food fraud as a whole, but also set standards for sub-categories of the activity such as mislabelling and adulteration, says Nofima senior scientist and project coordinator Petter Olsen.

“It’s not always easy to distinguish between similar concepts, but incorrect use of words can have significant consequences”, he says. Having a standard will make  communication regarding food fraud more precise and “will be of significance for both research and legislation.”

The new standard – called CWA 17369:2019 and officially titled Authenticity and fraud in the feed and food chain – Concepts, terms, and definitions – was developed as part of the EU’s Authent-Net and FoodIntegrity programmes.

“We have created a common European standard in which all the definitions are interconnected and mutually consistent,” says Olsen. “Terms relating to food fraud are often used interchangeably even though they mean entirely different things. This can lead to confusion and misunderstanding, especially across borders.”

For example, if one defines laws and regulations that refer to the tampering or adulteration of food, it is important that everyone understands the difference between these two terms, he adds.

The standard was published in January 2019 by Standard Norway, and it is also being distributed by several other National Standardization Bodies in Europe.

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