Food fraud-Food Fraud – is an illegal and intentional deception imposed on food for economic advantage
This emerging food industry threat can express as counterfeiting, simulation, theft , adulteration , tampering and unauthorized production, all of which are deliberate
Delay in shipment through the ports, lack of facility for on-site detection of contaminants, expensive route of commodity analyses are a few challenges that open the window of short cuts to exporters
A way out is to carry out product authentication and integrity testing, monitoring and ensurance of compliance to standard through a rejig of the extension departments, and criminal prosecution for offending corporate leaders. All these will reduce fraud opportunity
In spite of the launching in 2016 of the’ Zero reject’ initiative through the validation of strategy for a single management control system. The then Minister Chief Audu Ogbeh agreed that Nigeria has not paid serious attention to the issue of non compliance with food safety standard. This was at the peak of the ban on exported dried beans to the EU due to pesticide levels above the acceptable limit. On this particular issue, a meeting of the stakeholders was held in 2019 to review the ban.Till date, no concrete statement lifting the ban has come from relevant offices, and the 2019 date is silently shifting to 2020 and perhaps beyond.
Such a situation encourages self help and food fraud !!!
Food safety activist
15 March 2020