Counterfeit is everywhere: clothing, pharmaceuticals and even seeds for crop. But did you know there is also a large amount of counterfeit food out there? Are you eating the real stuff?
Just to give you a few examples of recent ‘trends’.
1. Fake Vodka – Hidden deep in the lush English countryside, the police discovered “Moscow Farm” a base for an international organized crime gang churning out a dangerous brew of fake vodka. The Fake Glen’s Vodka has high levels of methanol, and bleach was added to lighten its color. The dangerous liquid was pumped into genuine vodka bottles, with near-perfect counterfeit labels and duty stamps, and were sold in corner shops across Britain. Drinking the fake vodka in large doses can cause blindness.
Fact: in the Czech Republic more than 20 people died last year after drinking counterfeit liquor.
2. Fake cows – The Europe-wide scandal surrounding the substitution of cheaper horse meat in what had been labeled beef products. Although not technically ‘fake’, it’s not okay of course. A horse is a horse, of course of course. Not a cow.
3. Fake food – Investigators have recently uncovered thousands of frauds of everyday products, including counterfeit chocolate and adulterated olive oil, Jacob’s Creek wine and even Bollinger Champagne.
“Around the world, food fraud is an epidemic — in every single country where food is produced or grown, food fraud is occurring,” said Mitchell Weinberg, president and chief executive of Inscatech, a company that advises on food security. “Just about every single ingredient that has even a moderate economic value is potentially vulnerable to fraud.”