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Fighting food fraud

The horsemeat scandal, which hit the EU at the beginning of 2013, put the European food sector under the spotlight.

Fighting food fraud

© Comugnero Silvana / Fotolia

Tests carried out in the wake of the crisis revealed that public health was not at risk and that this was a case of food fraud rather than food safety. However, the episode dented consumer confidence and raised questions about the effectiveness of controls along the food supply chain.

Concern about the rising number of incidents of food fraud has led to calls for stronger action in this area, not least because the food chain in Europe is worth some €750 billion a year. The agri-food industry is the EU’s second biggest industrial sector, employing 48 million workers in 17 million companies.

The European Commission set about restoring consumer and market confidence through a number of measures, including proposals to strengthen controls along the food chain and toughen penalties for fraudsters. While stakeholders welcome measures to improve the system of controls, the question of who pays for them has already sparked a lively debate.

Read the whole briefing here

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3 thoughts on “Fighting food fraud

  1. The horsemeat – beef scandal was far from NOT being a safety concern. They spot tested and found ‘bute’ – which is never allowed in food animals and they still have never determined the origin of the horsemeat or if the horses were safe to eat. SInce the UK continues to import Canadian and Mexican horsemeat, which is largely U.S. completely unregulated horses – just how ‘safe’ can any UK horsemeat actually be? U.S. horses don’t have passports and no drug history follows a horse from owner to owner. U.S. horse dealers are allowed to fabricate the foreign drug affidavits immediately after acquiring a horse and ship it the SAME day. Inspection or testing is not 100% and is just a cursory check of what is suppose to be a known quality. The known quality of U.S. horses or what would be U.S. horse meat is that it would be largely adulterated as horses are entirely unregulated and almost everything U.S. horse owners give them is labeled ‘not for use on animals used for human consumption’. What is the purpose of the UK horse passport system when the passports are easily lost and replaced clean pr they are forged AND the UK continues to import horse meat from the U.S. via Canada and Mexico that are entirely unregulated?


    Posted by vickysecho | January 22, 2014, 12:52
    • We based ourself on these test results:

      These results correspond with the joint statement published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on 15 April 2013 which concluded that the risks associated to bute were of “low concern for consumers due to the low likelihood of exposure and the overall low likelihood of toxic effects and that, on a given day, the probability of a consumer being both susceptible to developing aplastic anaemia and being exposed to phenylbutazone was estimated to range approximately from 2 in a trillion to 1 in 100 million.”


      Posted by EPRSauthor | January 22, 2014, 15:56


  1. Pingback: Focus on Food & Farmers | European Parliamentary Research Service - October 13, 2014

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