You may not know it, but the food and drink you buy and consume from some big-name brands might be a counterfeit version of the real thing. Common brands of olive oil, chocolate, alcohol, and many other food and drink are being substituted with cheaper versions as part of a food scandal, according to The New York Times.
In the midst of the current economic crisis, thousands of food frauds are being uncovered in every country, including the substitution of cheap horse meat for labeled beef products and cases of counterfeit liquor in which people have died from poison.
Just about every ingredient that has an economic value could potentially be counterfeit, according to Mitchell Weinberg, president and chief executive of Inscatech, a company that advises on matters of food security. Many processed products contain ingredients like sugar, vanilla, paprika, honey, olive oil, or cocoa products that can be tainted.
For the most part, food counterfeiting is the work of international criminal networks that seek big profits, and most are never caught.