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PROCESSING

Thousands of tonnes of

fake and sub-standard food seized 4000 kg of counterfeit strawberries and 275,000 litres of drinks were only part of the haul of fake and substandard food seized in a recent INTERPOL and Europol operation.

O

pson IV, a coordinated operation run by INTERPOL and Europol and involving 47 countries, uncovered thousands of tonnes of fake and substandard food and drink during December 2014 and January 2015. The operation resulted in a number of arrests across the globe and investigations are continuing. Among the aims of the operation is to identify and disrupt the organised crime networks behind the trafficking in fake goods; enhance cooperation between the involved law enforcement and regulatory authorities; and to raise public awareness of the dangers posed by fake and sub-standard food and drink. Involving police, customs, national food regulatory bodies and partners from the private sector, checks were carried out at shops, markets, airports, seaports and industrial estates. “This year again, the results from Opson clearly reflect the threat that food fraud represents, as it affects all types 32

of products and all regions of the world. Cooperation at national and international level is indispensable to disrupt the criminal gangs involved in this business,” said Chris Vansteenkiste, head of Europol’s Focal Point Copy who coordinated the activities in Europe. Of the nearly 275,000 litres of drinks recovered across all regions, counterfeit alcohol was among the most seized product. “Fake and sub-standard food and drink pose a real threat to health and safety. People are at serious risk and in some cases dying because of the greed of criminals whose sole concern is to make money,” said Michael Ellis, head of INTERPOL’s Trafficking in Illicit Goods and Counterfeiting unit which coordinated activities between the world police body’s participating countries across the globe. “Through this operation, thousands of tonnes of potentially hazardous food and drink have been taken out of circulation.”

This issue is sponsored by – Reed Exhibitions – http://www.agriworldaustralia.com.au

What’s New in Food Technology May/June 2015  

The most comprehensive coverage of new products and technology developments from companies supplying and servicing the food and beverage ind...

What’s New in Food Technology May/June 2015  

The most comprehensive coverage of new products and technology developments from companies supplying and servicing the food and beverage ind...