Seen and heard: counterfeiting news in brief

Counterfeits transiting Canada, blockchain for Australian beef, fake alcohol seized in China and Kenya, PerkinElmer project, and DNA-tagged fertiliser

US asks Canada to crackdown on counterfeits

The US is reportedly in talks with Canada in a bid to persuade the northern neighbour to crackdown on counterfeit goods, a report by CBC News revealed. According to the broadcaster, the Trump administration wants Canadian customs officers to seize fake imports that transit through Canada on their way to the US. Current Canadian law states that officials can only seize imports destined for the Canadian market. The Obama administration had also sought to broaden the seizure law to transiting goods. CBC News understands that Canada is reviewing the American’s request including looking at workarounds that do not change Canadian legislation, such as increased information sharing.

Blockchain for Australian beef

A collaborative research project in Australia is looking to use blockchain to track the country’s beef products from paddock to plate to prevent food fraud and protect the Australian brand, Food and Beverage Industry News reports. The BeefLedger project will bring design, business, technology and food research together as a “wholesale data platform” and will utilise the crypto-currency BeefLedger Token (BLT) to track transactions and provide information on provenance, sale history, disease prevention, as well as streamlining payments.

Counterfeit wine seized in China

A Chinese wine company has been busted for allegedly selling counterfeit Rhône wines labelled as made by Moët Hennessy at a price of up to RMB 99,999 ($15,121), according to a report published by The Drinks Business. More than 500 bottles of counterfeit wine with labels purporting to be made by Moët Hennessy, using the trademarked Chinese name, were found during a raid of Shanghai Haotuo International Trading Company, which followed a complaint by the French luxury brand. Moët Hennessy does not make wines in the Rhône Valley.

Raid in Kenya finds fake alcohol

About 50,000 litres of fake alcohol worth KSH 40 million (£291,000) has been seized from a farm in Kenya’s Meru County, along with the arrest of six people, KBC Channel reports. Production equipment, counterfeit bottles and labels, and 10 drums of the industrial chemical ethyl were also seized by the Anti-Counterfeit Agency. The mastermind behind the counterfeit operation was reported to have escaped during the raid and investigations into his whereabouts are ongoing.

PerkinElmer and TeakOrigin team up for food authenticity

Biotech company PerkinElmer has announced a collaboration with TeakOrigin, a company that integrates technology and data platforms to detect food authenticity and quality, the firms said in a statement. The collaboration will combine PerkinElmer’s molecular spectroscopy instrumentation with TeakOrigin’s analytical chemistry experts with the aim of developing a technology that uses a single platform to analyse a number of food types for key indicators that determine authenticity, quality and freshness. The outcome of the research aims to increase transparency of the modern food system and help eliminate food fraud and misrepresentation. The first research initiatives will involve testing of olive oil, honey and apples with the intention of extending analysis to other foods.

Applied DNA introduces DNA-tagged fertiliser

Applied DNA Sciences has announced it will introduce DNA-tagged fertiliser to Turkey and countries in West Africa and Asia in a bid to prevent fertiliser adulteration, secure supply chains and track the origin of fertilisers used for nefarious purposes, the company said in a statement. The move follows a pilot project that successfully tagged fertiliser and tracked it through a West African supply chain. It also follows new legislation in Turkey that requires DNA-tagging of all domestically produced fertiliser by 1 January 2018 after a series of terrorist acts that used fertiliser-based explosives in Turkey in 2016. Molecularly tagged fertiliser could enter the market as early as next year, Applied DNA said.

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