Welcome to The Times in Plain English   Click to listen highlighted text! Welcome to The Times in Plain English

Counterfeit Foods Turning Up Everywhere

July 1, 2013
Plain English Version

Criminals are learning they can make money selling people what they buy everyday: food.

That’s right, everything from chocolate to vodka is for sale. These foods are not made

Fake Glen’s Vodka has high levels of methanol, and bleach was added to lighten its color. Jennie Kendall/HMRC

by or stolen from the companies whose names are on the label. They are produced in hidden factories. They enter the market through the vast stream of foods that go to independent stores all over the world.

One expert said, “Around the world, food fraud is an epidemic. In every country where food is grown, food fraud is occurring.” Another expert said, about 10 percent of all food bought is adulterated.

Police have found thousands of frauds all over the world. Products include counterfeit chocolate, adulterated olive oil, Jacob’s Creek wine and even Bollinger champagne.

Apart from the criminal activity, the problem is what is in these foods? There is danger to the consumer in the ingredients. For example, foods containing sugar, vanilla, paprika, honey, olive oil or cocoa may be tainted with cheaper substitutes. There have been hundreds of cases of illness and death from tainted food products.

Often cheap food replaces more costly food. Catfish is sold as sea bream, farmed salmon is sold as wild salmon and hen-house eggs are sold as organic or free range. Experts say the weak global economy is the reason. Many consumers are looking for lower cost items.

Crooks are moving into other daily consumer products. Detergents, foodstuffs, cosmetic products and over-the-counter drugs are now flowing to consumers.

The problem seems to be greatest in Europe. It is spreading to the United States.

Source: The New York Times

Print Friendly

In Brief

Selling Kids on Vegetables

How to get kids to eat vegetables? Marketing is the answer. You can call it tricks or just good ideas. Whatever works.

School lunchrooms are...

What Do You Call Yourself if Your Mother is White and Your Father is Black?

On the 2010 Census, President Barack Obama, identified himself as  “black.” But millions of Americans consider themselves “bi- or multi-racial.”  And their numbers are...

Mending Walls, By Robert Frost

Robert Frost (1874 – 1963) was a great American poet. Just before he died, he read his poetry at the inauguration of President John...

Pineapple on Pizza? The Global Debate

The President of Iceland started it. Last week he joked that pizza topped with pineapple should be outlawed. His remarks set off a debate...


  • dictionary
  • English Dictionary

Double click on any word on the page or type a word:

Powered by dictionarist.com
Click to listen highlighted text!