EU Conference on food frauds

On 23-24 October 2014 I will be in Rome, at the Italian Ministry of Health (via Giorgio Ribotta, 5), to follow a fundamental two days event about the food fraud issue, organised with the joint effort of the Ministry and the EU Commission.

The prime objective of this conference is to raise the profile of Economically Motivated Violations (EMV) of food law as a major global challenge and to promote and expand interdisciplinary collaboration and communication by providing a platform to those parties involved in fighting EMV, ranging from leading food control and judicial authorities to industry and consumers stakeholders.

Here you can find more information about the event: link.

The program and the speakers’ level are absolutely impressive:

Thursday, 23rd October 2014:

13:00 – 14:00 Registration and Buffet lunch
14:00 – 14:30 Opening remarks Italian Minister/E Poudelet – Director, Safety of Food Chain, European Commission, DG Health and Consumers
Session 1 – Food Fraud Overview – EU and National Perspectives
14:30 – 14:40Chair/Moderator Introduction – Marabelli/Borrello (Italian Ministry of Health)
14:40 – 15:404 Speakers – 15 minutes for each presentation to address the following topics:

  • What is food fraud? – (An overview of the concept of fraud, laws and regulations; extension of the problem, etc. Could also include an overview of major incidents and current threats to brand and consumer protection, financial implications, etc.) – Francesco Lo Voi (Eurojust)
  • The EU perspective (An overview of European Commission’s policy initiatives) – Carmen Garau (Head of Unit, European Commission, DG Health and Consumers)
  • Glenn Taylor (Hampshire County Council, UK )
  • Stefano Vaccari (Ministry of Agriculture, IT)
15:40 – 16:10Debate with speakers – Q&A
16:10 – 16:30Coffee break
Session 2 – Industry and Consumer Perspectives
16:30 – 16:40Chair/Moderator Introduction – Eric Poudelet (Director, European Commission, DG Health and Consumers)
16:40 – 17:102 speakers, 15 minutes each to present industry and consumer experience and views:

  • Global Food Safety Initiative’s (GFSI) cutting-edge information and experiences on food fraud – Yves Rey (Corporate Quality Manager Danone)
  • The European Consumer Organisation’s (BEUC) expectations and views
17:10 – 17:30Debate with speakers – Q&A
17:30 – 17:40Closing first day of conference

Friday, 24th October 2014:

Session 3 – Needs and Options for a Collaborative Approach / Case Studies
9:30 – 9:40Chair/Moderator Introduction – Eric Marin (Deputy Head of Unit, European Commission, DG Health and Consumers)
9:40 – 10:253 speakers, 15 minutes each to present, including 2 case studies to take a more in-depth look at the food fraud challenges and explore new ideas to expand the experts’ connections/network:

  • Collaborative approach – Professor Chris Elliott (Queen’s University, Belfast, UK)
  • 1st case – Michael Rosenmark (Danish Flying Squad)
  • 2nd case – C.P.M. de Bouter (Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority)
10:25 – 10:55Debate with speakers – Q&A
10:55 – 11:10Coffee break
11:10 – 11:20Chair/Moderator Introduction- Silvio Borrello (Italian Ministry of Health)
11:20 – 12:053 speakers (15 minute each) – Continuation of previous session

  • 3rd case – Gen. Cosimo Piccinno (NAS)
  • 4th case – Andreas Rossa (German Prosecution)
  • 5th case – Cathérine Collinet (French Brigades)
12:05 – 12:35Debate with speakers – Q&A
12:35 – 14:30Buffet lunch for participants
Session 4 – Improving Methodologies
14:30 – 14:40Chair/Moderator Introduction – Joao Onofre (European Commission, DG Agriculture)
14:40 – 15:253 speakers, 15 minutes each, on the following topics:

  • Cooperation between laboratories and validation of techniques. – Elke Anklam (Joint Research Centre)
  • Vulnerability assessment and approaches to Food Fraud prevention – John Spink (Michigan State University, USA)
  • The EU FOODINTEGRITY Project – Paul Brereton (Food and Environment Research Agency, UK)
15:25 – 15:55Debate with speakers – Q&A
15:55 – 16:05Conference Close
16:05 – 16:20Conclusions – Italian Presidency
16:20 – 16:40Closing remarks
I hope to meet some of you there!

GFSI paper on mitigation of food frauds effects

In July 2014 GFSI released a paper on mitigation of food frauds.

Inscatech applauds the Global Food Safety Initiative (“GFSI”) in their decision to include new requirements specific to food fraud mitigation in the next full revision of the GFSI Guidance Document (7th Edition) to be released in 2016. Details can be found in GFSI’s position paper, “GFSI Position on Mitigating the Public Health Risk of Food Fraud”, released on July 14, 2014.

Inscatech was a key member of the GFSI Board Sponsored Food Fraud Think Tank which was convened to further advance the Food Fraud mitigation topic, and was instrumental having its recommendations adopted by the GFSI Board of Directors. Its fellow Food Fraud Think Tank members included Eurofins, who brought perspectives on analytical testing and certification, and Michigan State University’s Food Fraud Initiative, an interdisciplinary, education and outreach organization. The manufacturers and retailers perspectives on the Think Tank were represented by Danone, Walmart and Royal Ahold respectively. Inscatech congratulates its colleagues on the Food Fraud Think Tank for collaboratively achieving this groundbreaking advancement in Food Fraud prevention.

The new GFSI requirements specify that companies perform Food Fraud vulnerability assessments and implement a Food Fraud vulnerability control plan to mitigate identified vulnerabilities (“The Think Tank recommends that two fundamental steps are taken by the food industry to aid in the mitigation of Food Fraud: firstly, to carry out a “food fraud vulnerability assessment” in which information is collected at the appropriate points along the supply chain (including raw materials, ingredients, [finished] products, packaging) and evaluated to identify and prioritize significant vulnerabilities for food fraud”, “Secondly, ‘appropriate control measures shall be put in place to reduce the risks’ from these vulnerabilities. These control measures can include monitoring strategy, a testing strategy, origin verification, specification management, supplier audits, and anti-counterfeit technologies. A clearly documented control plan outlines when, where and how to mitigate fraudulent activities.”)

GFSI formally defined a broad definition of Food Fraud to include adulteration, but also all fraud – explicitly including misbranding and stolen good (“Food Fraud, including the subcategory of economically motivated adulteration, is of growing concern.  It is deception of consumers using food products, ingredients and packaging for economic gain and includes substitution, unapproved enhancements, misbranding, counterfeiting, stolen goods or others”) and it could be linked to public health issues (“The GFSI Board recognizes that the driver of a food fraud incident might be economic gain, but if a public health threat arises from the effects of an adulterated product, this will lead to a food safety incident.”)

Inscatech is the first and only company currently providing Food Fraud vulnerability assessments and control plans. Inscatech is a Food Fraud detection and prevention company. The only company of its kind, Inscatech has established a solid reputation in the food industry as both a pioneer and the sole provider of food fraud intelligence investigations, forensically based vulnerability assessments, supplier qualification examinations, validated supply chain mapping, and food fraud vulnerability control programs. Through its work with many of the largest food producers and retail grocery conglomerates globally, Inscatech is leading the food industry towards a harmonized and systematic approach to protecting the safety and authenticity of the global food supply.

For more information, please visit: or contact me directly.