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Exploring food fraud

In 2018, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) published a report on food fraud in the fisheries sector, confirming beliefs that the scale of this problem is a cause for international concern.

Whilst the report findings suggest mislabelling and species substitution to present the biggest challenges, other types of fraud along the fish supply chain were also described including over-glazing and over-breading, and the use of added water and undeclared water-binding agents to increase weight.

A key conclusion from the report is the need for a universally adopted science-based DNA traceability system to trace fish and fishery products throughout the global marketing chain, which in conjunction with greater cooperation between food control authorities and law enforcement agencies can be used to combat the criminal activities involved in national and international fish fraud more effectively.

A PDF copy of the report, Overview of Food Fraud in the Fisheries Sector, is found in the download sections below.

Please read the brief two page Executive Summary of the report (pages vii and viii) and identify what you believe are the unique attributes of fish and fishing which makes fraud in this sector a particular problem, and a challenge to control. For ease of access, a copy of the Executive Summary is also found in the downloads section below.

Fraud within the fisheries sector is typically focused on gaining economic benefits, but can you identify ways in which public health may also be endangered by such fraudulent activities and which may be overlooked in relation to this issue?

Please share your thoughts in the discussion area below.

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This article is from the free online course:

Tackling Global Food Safety

Queen's University Belfast