CANADA – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has published its Food Fraud Annual Report for 2021–2022, which provides a summary of the initiatives the CFIA took to prevent, identify, and discourage food fraud during the course of the year.
Canada has a program known as “Food Policy for Canada” which prioritizes food fraud prevention.
The CFIA, in collaboration with Health Canada, is addressing food misrepresentation as part of this program by developing measures to stop, detect, and discourage food fraud that falls within its purview.
The CFIA’s work on food deception that falls under its purview is collectively referred to in this report as “food fraud.”
Food fraud may occur when food is misrepresented and is an emerging issue around the world. In Canada, it is generally prohibited to sell food in a manner that is false or misleading, but such misrepresentation may still occur.
This may impact buyers because they would not be receiving what they expect to be buying. It can also pose health risks if, for example, allergens or non-permitted ingredients are added to food products but not declared.
Addressing food fraud supports consumer confidence that food purchased in Canada is accurately represented and safe to consume. It also helps Canadian businesses compete more fairly in the Canadian and global marketplace.
As part of its 2021-2022 food fraud initiative, CFIA monitored ongoing and emerging risks, and planned mitigation activities, promoted awareness and educated consumers via an advertising campaign and other work, and also worked with international counterparts to share relevant information and best practices.
The Agency also advanced research and method development to detect food fraud and conducted targeted surveillance on higher-risk commodities, taking control and enforcement actions in cases of non-compliance.
Fish, honey, meat, olive oil, other priceless oils, and spices were all subject to inspection, sampling, and testing as part of the 2021–2022 surveillance period to check for authenticity and misrepresentation.
Targeted monitoring was done by CFIA on these products at various food businesses, including importers, domestic processors, and retailers.
The CFIA gathered 844 targeted samples in total to look for particular kinds of deception.
Fish was found to be in compliance in a percentage of 92.7, honey in a percentage of 77.5, meat in a percentage of 99.1, olive oil in a percentage of 86.9, other valuable oils in a percentage of 64.3, and spices in a percentage of 90.8.
Following the Standard Regulatory Response Procedure, the CFIA conducted control measures and enforcement actions where necessary in cases of non-compliance.
This included withdrawing products from the Canadian market, holding them, destroying them, or relabeling them.