consumer protection (5)


Food fraud has beset governments for centuries, and the legal responses to it have been uniquely suited to the sensibilities of the time.

This publication follows the concept of food fraud described to occur when a fraudster intentionally deceives a customer about the quality and/or contents of the foods they wish to purchase, and such act is done to obtain an undue advantage, most often economic, for the fraudster.

The vastness and complexity of food fraud, and the versatility in regulatory approaches can challenge national governments in their attempts to develop a coherent, focused approach to food fraud. To respond to this challenge, this paper introduces the available international regulatory guidance and the potential legal strategies at the national and regional level. It identifies and analyses some of the regulatory approaches to food fraud that countries have chosen and pays attention to the role of the private sector in food fraud regulation.

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This report has been added to the 'Policy-Guidance-Law' section of our website.

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9096096860?profile=RESIZE_584xIn March 2021, the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific published a booklet entitled “Food fraud – Intention, detection and management”. This concise resource explains the key aspects of food fraud, and discusses a set of measures that food safety authorities can take to stop food fraud. Among these, legal interventions combined with the use of new technologies are promising tools.

Examples of these interventions, such as adopting a definition for food fraud and implementing food standards as well as applying DNA barcoding and blockchain technology, are included in the booklet. Links are readily available in the booklet for those who wish to have greater know-how on the guidance on food labelling, technological interventions and food import and export certification systems provided by FAO and the Codex Alimentarius.

Download the publication:
FAO Food safety toolkit booklet 5 - Food fraud – Intention, detection and management

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The British Retail Consortium has published a new document highlighting the impact to UK consumers of leaving without a deal.

The BRC launched its “A Fair Deal for Consumers” campaign last year to stand up for consumers everywhere and ensure households can enjoy the same great value in shops long into the future. Its report, “Why Tariffs are Bad News for UK Consumers”, calls on the UK Government and the EU to negotiate a zero-tariff trade deal to avoid price increases for consumers.  


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The survey assessed how LAs plan and prioritise their food standards work, the resources and capacity they have and how they measure the success of their programmes. The review can be found here

Key findings from the survey

  • Levels of food standards resource in England are generally lower than in Wales and Northern Ireland, with 22% of English LAs having less than 1 Full-Time Equivalent (‘FTE’) person dedicated to food standards work.  
  • 15% of food businesses are unrated for food standards risk, however the figures for some LAs are higher
  • LAs had difficulty in recruiting qualified officers and 57% of LAs were not in a position to support a student through the qualification process 

Alternative approaches to food standards delivery are being adopted effectively by many LAs. FSA intend to explore and build on areas of good practice as part of their reform programme. 

Review to be discussed at the next FSA Board meeting

The review of food standards has been published as part of the FSA Board papers. 

The next Board meeting will be held at Church House in London on Wednesday 5 December 2018 at 8.30am. You can attend in person or watch it live online.

A full agenda and published papers can be viewed in the board meeting section of the FSA website

For details on how to register to attend the Board meeting, please see the Board section of the FSA website.


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The NAO has just published a report examining the system protecting consumers from scams, unfair trading, and unsafe goods, which is the responsibility of BEIS (Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy). Although improvements have been implemented since the last NAO report in 2012 such as the setting up of National Trading Standards, there have been significant cuts in the number of full time staff and budgets. Overall, local Trading Standards have lost 56% of full-time equivalent staff since 2009, with 20 services in England having funding cut by over 60% since 2011. This is has increased the risk of consumers being the subject of fraud both in consumer goods and food.

Report available at: NAO report on protecting consumers

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