UNICRI illicit pesticides, organized crime and supply chain integrity report

A new Report on “Illicit pesticides, organized crime and supply chain integrity” has been published by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI).

The report, prepared by UNICRI and discussed by experts and practitioners during an Expert Workshop, aims at deepening the general knowledge on current trends related to illicit pesticides, identifying the actors and organized crime groups (OCGs) and networks involvement and their modus operandi, and understanding the supply chain vulnerabilities. Participants included high level representatives from Brazil, Ghana, Finland, Italy, Moldova, Vietnam, Basel Convention Regional Center in China, Uk Intellitech Security Group, EUROPOL, Raoul Wallenberg Institute, Lund University, CropLife, Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC), Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Pesticides Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP), World Customs Organisation, INTERPOL and Reconnaissance International.

I was honored to be invited to the workshop and to have the opportunity to contribute: a special thanks to entire UNICRI team, especially Vittoria Luda di Cortemilia, Programme Coordinator of UNICRI Environmental Crimes Programme – Emerging Crimes Unit – Elise Vermeersch, Project Associate, and Francesca Bosco, Senior Fellow. The report was drafetd by the UNICRI and Robyn Mace.

Illicit pesticides pose potentially serious threats to human safety and health, economies, businesses and farmers, the environment, and national security. For more than a decade, regulators, industry and farmers in numerous countries have been struggling with the growing market in illicit agro-chemicals and illicit plant protection products (PPPs). Worldwide estimates of trade in illegal and counterfeit markets range from 5-15% for most types of products and commodities. The European Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG-SANTE) indicates that about 10% of the European Union (EU) pesticides market is comprised of illegal pesticides, noting significant variation between Member States. Other sources have indicated that more than 25% of pesticide products in some EU Member States are counterfeit.

This policy paper is divided into four sections. The first presents an overview of the risks and impacts of illicit pesticide use on human health, livestock and food supplies, the environment, and the international agricultural trade.

The second section presents data and information on actors and agents, modus operandi, observed trends, product flows and regional profiles of the pesticides market. This section also considers trade, agricultural and food supply chain characteristics, security vulnerabilities, and protection and defense measures against organized crime groups and networks that have infiltrated international agrochemicals and pesticide markets.

The third section summarizes key regulatory issues, identifies obstacles and indicates concrete actions to prevent and combat the importation, sale and use of illicit pesticides, as well as the role of the actors involved in the control and securitization of the market.

The final section concludes with the role of UNICRI in addressing the issues of illicit pesticides, in particular in facilitating research, raising stakeholders’ awareness, delivering training and technical assistance programmes, supporting in capacity building activities and reinforcing national and international cooperation.

The report contains also an amazing list of cases happened in the last decade, divided by country.

Hinoman’s Vegetable Whole-protein Ingredient Granted GRAS Status

Hinoman, Ltd., has been granted self-affirmed GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status for its Mankai, a vegetable whole-protein ingredient with high nutritional value. The announcement was made during the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) conference in Chicago, July 12-14.

The GRAS designation is for the use of Mankai in functional foods and beverages, and was confirmed based on scientific methods, as well as corroborated by extensive history of use in Asia Pacific. The status was endorsed by a third party-appointed panel composed of some of the top food toxicologists in the U.S. This approval clearly demonstrates Mankai’s preeminence in tests of food safety and purity.

The nutritional composition of the Mankai microgreen ingredient has been determined to be high in protein (at least 45-48%), low in fat (7-8%), with 24-45% carbohydrate content. Analysis of the amino acid composition reveals the protein to be a rich source of the entire group of essential amino acids.

“GRAS approval of the Mankai high-protein ingredient is a major step toward Hinoman becoming a key microgreen protein supplier in the U.S. market,” says Udi Alroy, VP of Marketing and Business Development for Hinoman. “Hinoman’s proprietary cultivation platform makes Mankai a reliable, sustainable food source for large-scale growth and consumption.”

Mankai is produced in an advanced hydroponic system that optimizes yield throughout the year. This precisely regulated aquaculture platform is highly controlled, operating under remote cultivation management and regulation. As a result, it ensures plant purity so that Mankai is clean and free from all pesticides and heavy metals, to a level that exceeds nutritional grade.

“The proprietary Hinoman technology enables strict standards of food safety and security, and both are critical to ensure a sustainable supply chain,” explains Ron Salpeter, CEO for Hinoman. “The system addresses the challenges of future agriculture and nutrition needs with simplicity and sustainability, providing a comprehensive, plant-derived whole-protein food solution.”