seafood fraud (7)

Food Fraud: a Joint Nordic Threat Assessment

10885049698?profile=RESIZE_400xThis publication examines the joint threats arising from criminal activity in the Nordic food production chain. The countries participating in the project are Norway (leader), Denmark, Iceland and Sweden. It summarises and draws from the discussions which took place at a methodology seminar for participants in December 2018, the purpose of which was to discuss what a threat assessment is, and what is known about fraud and deception in the Nordic market. International experts from the UK and the USA, as well as experts from the Nordic customs authorities and the police, also participated in this seminar. In 2019, Denmark, Norway and Sweden carried out national threat assessments as a contribution to this Nordic report. Finally, a seminar for Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority inspectors and local inspectors was arranged in Iceland and was also attended by US participants.

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Seafood is one of the foods which suffers a high prevalence of food fraud. This review examines reported seafood fraud incidents from the European Union's Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed, Decernis's Food Fraud Database, HorizonScan, and LexisNexis databases between January 01, 2010 and December 31, 2020. It provides a global comparison, and assesses food fraud trends across 80 countries and 72 seafood species. It also provides an analysis of the types of fraud that exist within the seafood supply chain and the supply chain nodes that are more vulnerable to criminality.

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4445796278?profile=RESIZE_400xThe global seafood supply chain handles an enormous volume of products, half of which is caught wild, and there is also widespread illegal fishing feeding into this supply chain. It is one of the most fragmented food supply chains, and transparency into its actors and the movement of products has been notoriously elusive and difficult to manage. There is now increasing pressure from consumers, retailers, government and watchdog organisations to improve transparency. This article discusses the problems of having a fragmented supply chain, and the pressures of improving it, and the consequences of not doing so.

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Seafood is particularly prone to fraud. In order to try and ensure the supply chain remains integral, IBM and the US company Raw Seafoods have teamed up to introduce blockchain technology, initially to focus on US Atlantic scallop fisheries. Also Raw Seafoods is one of the first companies to introduce the IBM Food Trust Consumer app for smart phones, where consumers will be able to access full information on the scallops they are eating in certain restaurants or buying in retail using a QR code.  

  3686477206?profile=RESIZE_710x    Read the article here

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This paper reports a large survey of tuna species, especially the mislabelling of bluefin tuna, by following tuna supply chain from the wholesale fish market to retail and catering outlets in Catalonia over a period of one year. Samples were also taken from two other major Spanish fish wholesale markets. The survey revealed widespread mislabelling. The paper calls for better enforcement and consumer education to improve the situation.

Read the article at: Tuna substitution in Catalonia

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The US imports 90% of its seafood, and an Oceana survey has indicated a high level of fraud. Therefore the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Dept. of Commerce) will introduce a Seafood Import Monitoring Programme that will track about 25 percent of imported seafood from the fishing boat where the originates until it reaches U.S. borders. This is to prevent fraud in the most important species of seafood.

Read the full article with the embedded link to the Govt consultation document: US Seafood Monitoring Programme

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The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has been undertaking trials of a new seafood traceability tool in response to increasing incidents of fraud in the sector, where non-sustainable fish varieties are being passed off as sustainable species.

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