Food fraud is the deliberate and intentional substitution, addition, tampering, or misrepresentation of food, food ingredients, or food packaging for economic gain and it is a growing problem in the U.S.
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Explore this issueApril/May 2015
The Grocery Manufacturers Association estimates that economic adulteration and counterfeiting of global food and consumer products costs the industry $10 to $15 billion per year. In addition, the cost of one adulteration incident averages between two to 15 percent of yearly revenues.
Although food fraud has been around for thousands of years, it has only recently gained academic and regulatory interest due to the increasing global impact of some high profile cases. For example, the widespread coverage of the melamine adulteration. In addition, the General Office of Accountability 2009 report on seafood fraud signaled an increased awareness of the crime.
The melamine contamination of infant formula resulted in a $10 billion price tag and affected more than 300,000 babies around the world, hospitalizing more than 50,000 of them.