New Study Shows: Food Fraud Soared 60% Last Year

Tyler Durden's picture

Via Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

So what is food fraud anyway?  Well, it’s sort of what you would expect.  It’s when companies label food one way, but the truth turns out to be completely different.  I have been predicting an escalation in this trend for years, since it was obvious that as inflation led to increases in food prices, companies would resort to this type of behavior to keep margins inflated.

So in their latest study, the non-profit food fraud detectives at the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) show us the extent of this extremely dangerous trend.  From ABC News:

It’s what we expect as shoppers—what’s in the food will be displayed on the label.


But a new scientific examination by the non-profit food fraud detectives the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP), discovered rising numbers of fake ingredients in products from olive oil to spices to fruit juice.


In a new database to be released Wednesday, and obtained exclusively by ABC News today, USP warns consumers, the FDA and manufacturers that the amount of food fraud they found is up by 60 percent this year.

So what are the most commonly faked products?

Among the most popular targets for unscrupulous food suppliers? Pomegranate juice, which is often diluted with grape or pear juice.

How about that lemon juice?

“One had 10 percent lemon juice, it said it had 100 percent, another had 15 percent lemon juice, another…had 25 percent, and the last one had 35 percent lemon juice,” Sally Greenberg, Executive Director for the National Consumers League said. “And they were all labeled 100 percent lemon juice.”

I mean how do you confuse 10% lemon juice with 100%?  I suppose in the age of Jon Corzine and all the crooks in banking getting off without a scratch from the biggest heist in American history, this sort of stuff should be expected.  This is just another example of stealth inflation manifesting in our daily lives,  but food fraud presents a much larger health hazard than merely shrinking portion sizes.

For other articles on my stealth inflation series see:

Full article here.

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Pladizow's picture

So what, men have been lying about "foot longs" for centuries!

And in 3...2....1... The SEC will ban the USP from rating food for 18 months.

hedgeless_horseman's picture




No fraud here.  Hash came 100% from leftover beef stew, which along with the poached egg and tomato sauce came 100% from our little farm.

Pladizow's picture

It wont be long before GMO lemons only provide 10% real lemmon juice!

Spastica Rex's picture

And let's just be honest: the other 90% is just leveling the playing field. Ask Lance.

hedgeless_horseman's picture



This just in.  Mrs. Horseman, regretfully, informs me that the tomato sauce on the hash is not from our garden.  I hereby elect the Bonds-Clemens defense.  I hope this simple oversight does not keep me out of the ZH Culinary Hall of Fame.  I am truly sorry.  Please, forgive me.

Muddy1's picture

Time to go long SPAM!!!!!!   :-)

EnslavethechildrenforBen's picture

Brought to you by the same companies (bankers) that are dumping millions of tons of radioactive waste in the worlds fish breeding grounds. No surprises here...

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Boris now is extreme of concern. Maybe when is dilute Vodka with Ethylene Glycol, is not real Ethylene Glycol!? What is to do!? Now going blind is not to understand cause!

southerncomfort's picture

you're not going blind cause of the vodka dude... watch your hands...

TruthInSunshine's picture

Boris, switch to propylene glycol when possible, since its use is allowed in edible, food-like products, as ruled by the illustrious U.S. EdibleFoodLikeSubstances & DrugPusher Administration:

Propylene glycol

Antifreeze is used in cars, pills, cosmetics, deodorant, moisturizer…and food. It keeps your car from freezing over, your moisturizer moist, and your fat free cookie dough ice cream creamy, smooth and juicy. If it’s good enough for your SUV it’s good enough to eat.

Found in: Cake mix, salad dressings, low fat ice creams and dog food.

Hook Line and Sphincter's picture

Not to mention that the propylene glycol of Corexit is messing up the diet of those oil eating bacteria in the gulf.

BeerBrewer09's picture

I work at a fine dining restaurant part time. Asparagus costs us ~$.50 per stalk these days. It's cheaper to put jumbo lump crab on a veal oscar plate instead of the asparagus.

Seer's picture

Maybe we can work up a deal.  I've got some asparagus that's set to produce this next season... it's meant for personal consumption, but maybe...

What your anecdotal suggests is that vegetables have been severely under-priced.  The vegetable markets are really, really tough (I don't want any part of them, they scare me).  Crab just doesn't wilt like celery.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

At local market in Chernobyl, cannot find is this Asparagus, but mushroom, really really large mushroom, is plenty for cheap rubles. Once see something like crab, but is not crab.

Parrotile's picture

Move to Australia, Mate.

Our local farmer's market do bundles (15 spears (not stalks!!)) for $1.00. Nice'n'juicy too.

Even the Major Retailers (Coles / Woolworths) are ony charging $2 - $2.50 per large bundle, and you can get just as good (for less) in ALDI - $1.50.

Perhaps we should apply for an export licence and DIY???

Carl Spackler's picture

Lot of hidden inflation in the Spam market. It's like tungsten in your gold.

They are now swapping out the pork substitute with a substitute for the substitute. 

Seer's picture

Whoa!  Fucking spam Spam!

fuu's picture

If the rest of us had pic privs you wouldn't be the only member of that hall of fame.

Hulk's picture

You'll never make banker at this rate...

Ralph Spoilsport's picture

The information we're not getting here is what are the brand names of these products? I learned the hard way to avoid brands like Shur-Fine because of the poor quality of everything they put on the market.

daveeemc2's picture

Ah - the sludge thickens....betcha didnt know its a big part of your grocery store purchases.

...and you thought pink slime was bad....

Bon appetit!

prains's picture

GMO is only the start


a good read (a bit alarmist) is "Wheat Belly" if you want to understand how the GMO wheat strains have totally fucked with our metabolism, ergo huge increases in food sensitivities, diabetes, obesity etc

worth every minute to read

helping_friendly_book's picture

I read it.

Can't eat anything anymore.

I bought a bag of 9-grain wild rice at the asian market. $25 a bag.It's all we ate for six months. My turds could break windows.

flat iron steak (broil and set aside). 2 cups of 9g wild rice, peppers, onion, garlic and two tomatos.

Cut the steak in quarters.

cook veggies so a little crunch remains and mix with rice. divide into quarters.

it takes an hour but we make four meals of it and makes the most beatiful turds I've ever seen. True no wipers.

Seer's picture

Of the "funny business" variety.

Georgiabelle's picture

I'd be careful about using rice as a dietary staple, primarily because of the high concentrations of inorganic arsenic found in many/most brands of rice. And brown rice apparently has higher concentrations of arsenic than white rice. I would be especially careful of rice imported from Asia. The air in China is full of toxic particulates that end up in the soil and ground water, not to mention the serious lack of food safety standards there. 


NotApplicable's picture

I've got it (the book, not the belly (at least not any longer)).

Thanks to that book, and Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint, I went from hating to take the effort to make my brown-bag lunch to hating having to eat the crap they sell downtown, unless I go spend $15 for a happy-cow burger.

Zer0head's picture


food photography is both an art and a science that takes years to  master

(but the thought is appreciated)

hedgeless_horseman's picture



Years?  I only get a few seconds with my phone camera before the family starts giving thanks.   

I don't want to create art, I just want others to see, and hopefully believe, that growing, raising, and preparing one's food is 1) simple, 2) enjoyable, and 3) worthwhile.


Hulk's picture

All you do is make me hungry. You wouldn't like me when I'm hungry !!!

A Lunatic's picture

You're in charge of the smashed potatoes......

NotApplicable's picture

We spend much more time (and money) preparing quality foods these days, but it is obvious that it is so worth it. Every Christmas gift I bought for my family last year was to better equip us with quality kitchen tools, like the enamel coated cast-iron dutch oven I used to cook down our home-grown pumpkin on monday.

Seer's picture

I can't quite agree that it's "simple," or, that it's "enjoyable*," not when pests and weather are wrecking havoc.  But, point #3 is THE key- not only is growing worthwhile, but most likely it will become NECESSARY.

* Yes, there are moments of enjoyment when you see stuff surviving and finally producing (for harvest).

onthesquare's picture

2 X 4 s are not really 2" X 4".  They are not even rough cut 2" X4".  A USGallon is not a real gallon.  It is a Queen Ann gallon.  Smaller than an Imperial Gallon.  American beer has always been watered down.

jaffa's picture

Sourness is caused by the taste of acids, such as vinegar in alcoholic beverages. Sour foods include citrus, specifically lemons, limes, and to a lesser degree oranges. Sour is evolutionarily significant as it is a sign for a food that may have gone rancid due to bacteria. Thanks.
creative bioscience green coffee bean extract

DaveyJones's picture

and not "whole foods"  They in more ways than one support GMO

SubjectivObject's picture

WHO Folds Markitup.

Ha! Canvassers outside WFM here in CA are baffled to learn that WHF is a Texas based company, and that the state with the most wind generators is Texas, and that CA is bankrupt.

For those lucky Texans, in major population centers, the current Real Deal is Central Market.

krispkritter's picture

Could be more appropriately called 'Whore Foods' from China...

Son of Loki's picture
Japan's green tea contaminated with radiation"




Banned pesticides found in teas produced by popular Chinese tea brands


Tea time anyone?!

WillyGroper's picture

Thanks ZH. Only 1 way to know, grow ur own.

Citxmech's picture


If you're not already - now is the time.

alangreedspank's picture

But the packages are smaller, so you have less fraud!