Based on a classification system that was established more than 150 years ago, wines from the world-renowned region of Bordeaux can fetch high prices and enjoy a high degree of recognition and popularity. The Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux (CIVB) and Chinese authorities set a precedent by sentencing a wine supplier for offering fake “Bordeaux” wines. Nearly 10,000 bottles of mislabeled “Bordeaux” wines were seized, and the guilty judgment included fines and a suspended prison sentence.
Nearly 800 tons of minced meat worth more than $5.5 million was adulterated in a way where the meat was replaced with soy, beef fat, animal skin and starch. The meat was supplied from Poland and sold in France to charitable organizations like the Red Cross. The ingredients, which were of very low quality, did not pose a health risk, however, altered the taste and texture of the meat; an investigation is ongoing.
The 2013 horse meat and lasagna scandal, and the 2018 kiwi fraud issue are just some of the product traceability cases that are under public scrutiny in France. For the second time in France’s Lot-et-Garonne region, strawberries labeled French turned out to originate in Spain. Part of the harvesting labor was outsourced and was therefore more difficult to track. This makes it easier for mislabeling and food fraud to enter smaller-scale agricultural and agricultural cooperative businesses.
Kiwis are popular in France; they are one of the top 10 fruit consumed. France has only a fraction of the number of kiwi growers compared to Italy. French kiwis are 40% more expensive than Italian fruit, making it worthwhile to fraudulently change the country of origin. A sudden flood of “French” kiwis on the market at the end of the French kiwi season caught the attention of investigators, and 12% of these kiwis were discovered to originate from Italy. The fraud netted several million Euros in additional profit for the involved Italian kiwi producers. What is especially concerning is that the fruit was treated with products that are banned in France to increase the yield.
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