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April 19, 2010
FDA Pressured to Combat Rising ‘Food Fraud’
Representatives of the US food industry are saying that the FDA isn’t doing enough to stop the rise of fraudulently mislabeled food. From a March 30, 2010, Washington Post article:
John Spink, an expert on food and packaging fraud at Michigan State University, estimates that 5 to 7 percent of the U.S. food supply is affected but acknowledges the number could be greater. . . .
At the FDA's first public meeting on food fraud last year, groups across the industry complained that it is not doing enough. . . .
Despite growing imports, the FDA inspects just 2 percent of fish coming into the United States from other countries.
The National Seafood Inspection Service, part of the Marine Fisheries Service, routinely examines seafood products for species substitution. It issued a report finding that over a nine year period, between 1988 and 1997, the samples they took showed that an overall 34% of all seafood products tested was mislabeled.
Worse yet, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill conducted a study on fish sold as red snapper. They concluded that between 60% and 94% of the fish sold as red snapper in the US are mislabeled.
Thank you to William Mitchell College of Law student Hiep Phung for preparing this post. Mr. Phung is a student of Professor Donna M. Byrne.
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