European Commission targets food fraud

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Europe is focusing on food fraud
Europe is focusing on food fraud
Food fraud is being targeted in a clampdown by the European Commission (EC).

It said that recent cases of food fraud included olive oil, wine, honey, fish, dairy products, meat and poultry.

The UK market also faced the horsemeat scandal in 2013, which rocked confidence in the food supply chain.

The EC said it had launched the Knowledge Centre for Food Fraud and Quality, operated by the Joint Research Centre (JRC), in response to consumer concerns. 

Network of experts

This centre comprises a network of experts from inside and outside the EC, who will support policy-makers and national authorities by providing scientific knowledge on food fraud and food quality issues.

Tibor Navracsics, commissioner for education, culture, youth and sport, who is responsible for the JRC, said: "Food is one area where science can very directly and tangibly demonstrate the benefits it brings to citizens. The quality of the food we eat is important to all of us, and because food fraud is a transnational criminal activity, the EU has a clear role to play in the response.

“The launch of the Knowledge Centre for Food Fraud and Quality is an important step. It will help protect the integrity of the EU food chain and safeguard the quality of food products, generating a clear added-value for Europeans​."

Early warning

As part of its role, the new organisation will operate an early warning and information system for food fraud. This will include media monitoring and providing this information to the general public. It will link information systems of member states and the EC, including databases describing the composition of certain high-value agri-food products, such as wine or olive oil.

The Knowledge Centre for Food Fraud and Quality will also produce newsletters, interactive maps, databases and regular reports and will make this information accessible to the public.

Related topics: Food Safety

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