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Russia crackdown as food fraud runs rife

by 5m Editor
13 May 2005, at 12:00am

RUSSIA - Fake food and drink products in Russia control up to 94 per cent of the market in some sectors and their numbers are rising in others as authorities redouble efforts to fight back, says the country’s consumer agency in a special interview with Angela Drujinina. Nadejda Nazina, vice-director of RosPotrebNadzor, the Russian Agency for Health and Consumer Rights, said her organisation seized food products worth RUB340 million (€9.6 million) last year. The agency also issued 30,000 orders to destroy counterfeit goods after inspecting 132,000 food industry associations and producers. Nazina said she believed the problem of counterfeit food products remained widespread in Russia, despite only making up small part of the whole industry. According to information from the Ministry of Internal Affairs the ratio of counterfeit products in some fields runs from 73 to 94 per cent – making Russia one of the worst countries in the world for fake goods. In many Western nations, such as the UK or US, the quota of counterfeit products is about 10 per cent. Russia’s economic collapse in 1998, however, offered food fraud a much better home with the opportunity to fill empty shelves with cheap, counterfeit goods. Nazina highlighted condensed milk as a big culprit with producers often making cheaper versions using vegetable fats, yet still putting condensed milk on the label. Some even falsify factory identification codes on packs to try and escape safety authorities. Alongside these, authorities also estimate that one in every six tins of canned fish does not contain what the label specifies, for instance herring instead of salmon or sardines instead of saury. <i>Source: FoodProductionDaily</I>

5m Editor