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Counterfeit Foods—Health and Economic Fraud

Counterfeit Foods—Health and Economic Fraud

Fraudulent Foods Allegedly Sours Haute Cuisine to Fast Food; Fake Foods Purportedly Found in Olive Oils, Seafood, Coffee and Honey

Perhaps you have made an attempt to follow the Mediterranean Diet, or have tried to add more seafood to your diet to replace red meat. Your effort is laudable, but perhaps what you are serving up on your dinner plate is not authentic.

The National Consumer League performed a study last year that allegedly found that six of 11 bottles of extra virgin olive oil from four major retailers – Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Safeway, and Giant all purportedly failed to meet extra virgin requirements.

The world came to first know about olive oil fraud in 2008 after 4000 Italian police officers conducted a lengthy investigation that led to the arrest of 23 people and the confiscation of 85 farms. The most common form of adulteration appears to come from mixing extra virgin olive oil with cheaper, lower-grade oils before chemically deodorizing, coloring, and possibly even flavoring it and then selling it as “extra-virgin” oil to a producer.

Fishing and Seafood So Prevalent that a Presidential Task Force on Combating Fishing and Seafood Fraud Has Been Formed

Corruption in the seafood industry is so abundant that President Obama formed the Presidential Task Force on Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Seafood Fraud in 2014.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report that illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and seafood frauds undermine the sustainability of U.S. and global seafood stocks and negatively impacts the general ecosystem health.

Seafood fraud puts pregnant women at risk as high levels of mercury in fish are known to cause birth defects. Allergic reactions to shellfish have even been known to cause paralysis. “Real Food Fake Food” author Larry Olmsted, meanwhile, reports that in 2007 the FDA banned five kinds of imported shrimp from China and that China then simply re-routed the banned shrimp through Indonesia, labeled it as originating from there, and then it was put back in the US food ­supply.

The Peiffer Wolf  Lawyers Investigating

The Peiffer Wolf lawyers are investigating restaurant chains that offered counterfeit food to their patrons. They take most cases of this type on a contingency fee basis and advance the case costs, and only get paid for their fees and costs out of money they recover for their clients.

Individuals who believe they consumed counterfeit food or have information about restaurant chains’ use of counterfeit food are encouraged to contact the Cleveland office of Peiffer Wolf, and talk to attorney James Booker, at 216-589-9280.