It’s Inspector Meerkat with this week’s food fraud investigation. Though Food Fraud is motivated by economic factors, these incidents can have serious impacts on public health. Many are familiar with the 2008 melamine adulteration incident involving milk produced in China which led to the death of six children and left 300,000 hospitalized. According to the Food Fraud Database, there have been 118 adulteration incidents in milk or milk powder in the last 5 years, four of the incidents occurring in 2020.
The reasons for adulteration include dilution or substitution with an alternate substance (in many cases, the substance wasn’t food grade), artificial enhancement of apparent quality or protein content, formulation of an artificial product through the use of multiple adulterants and techniques, and use of non-declared, unapproved or banned biocides such as preservatives, antibiotics, and anti-fungal agents. Some of the hazardous adulterants in these incidents include urea, formaldehyde, and detergent. The main countries in which the adulterated products were produced include India and Pakistan. Learn more about the Food Fraud Database.
Posted on 3 August 2020