Seen and heard: counterfeiting news in brief

Smuggled erectile dysfunction drugs, fake wine seizure, a milk anti-adulteration device, fake cosmetics, and organic regulations

Increase in erectile dysfunction drugs being smuggled into the UK

An increase in the number of young men using erectile dysfunction drugs as a recreational party pill is resulting in a booming black market in the UK, an exclusive report by Sky News has found. The broadcaster revealed that the number of unlicensed and fake erectile dysfunction drugs being smuggled into the country had increased over the past few years – in 2012-13, £2.5m-worth of illicit pills were seized, this increased to £17.4m-worth seized in 2016. The pills are being used increasingly by young men “as an insurance policy for performance” and to counter the effects of other drugs and alcohol, the broadcaster reported.

Fake wine seized in China

Police in China have seized 14,000 bottles of fake Australian wine. Labelled as Penfolds, the fake wine was being sold via e-commerce platform Alibaba, as a well as in pubs and karaoke bars, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. The seizure followed a three-month investigation after Penfolds owner Treasury Wine Estates alerted Alibaba to the fact that “suspicious retailers were charging extraordinarily low prices” for the wine on its marketplace Taobao. The counterfeits allegedly contained red wine sourced from overseas and were rebottled and labelled as fake Penfolds in China. Thirteen suspects have been detained.

Milk adulteration device developed

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad have developed a proof-of-concept portable device to detect milk adulteration, according to the Deccan Chronicle. The technology works by monitoring several markers in milk, which can be affected by adulterants, rather than testing for the specific adulterants themselves. The researchers are now working on miniaturising the technology and hope to integrate miniaturised sensors onto a single platform using fabrication technology. The development of the device follows an increasing number of incidents of milk adulteration in India.   

Fake cosmetics seized in Cambodia

More than 11 tonnes of fake cosmetics have been seized in Phnom Penh following a complaint, the Khmer Times reports. Thirteen cases of fake toiletries, including shampoo, soap, skin cream and perfume, featuring the brands Viera and Lavita, were found at a warehouse in the capital of Cambodia. The products had been imported into the country from Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong and Malaysia. The owner of the warehouse is on the run.

India introduces organic regulations

New regulations on the manufacture, sale, distribution and import of organic food in India have been announced and will come into force in July next year. According to the website Down To Earth, food being sold as organic, particularly that being exported, must be certified, while imported food labelled as organic will not need to be re-certified in India if the exporting country meets the Indian certification requirements. The move to counter organic fraud has been broadly welcomed.

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