From: Organic Consumers Association
Published January 21, 2009 08:52 AM

Something Fishy? Counterfeit Foods Enter the U.S. Market

Some of your favorite foods may be fakes. Foods masquerading as something else - a more nutritious something else - have been big news in the past two years. Chinese food companies in particular have been blamed for making deadly alterations to dairy, baby and pet foods by adding melamine. The chemical makes it appear that the food or beverage has the required level of protein.

But what about food producers in this country? What fraudulent foods do U.S. consumers have to fear from American companies?


Experts say dangerous U.S.-produced foods are comparatively few, but producers have been known to practice "economic adulteration" - adding a little to their bottom line by padding, thinning or substituting something cheap for something expensive.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration regulate the food industry, but with safety issues to deal with, economic adulteration has "really been back-burnered," says Bruce Silverglade of the non-profit Center for Science in the Public Interest. So in a caveat emptor world, what should consumers look out for?

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