Wednesday, February 20, 2013

More Fake Ingredients in Popular Foods

ABC News reports:
"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.

"Food products are not always what they purport to be," Markus Lipp, senior director for Food Standards for the independent lab in Maryland, told ABC News.

In a new database to be released Wednesday (2/20/2013), 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.

Among the most popular targets for unscrupulous food suppliers? Pomegranate juice, which is often diluted with grape or pear juice. Most recently the FDA issued an alert for pomegranate juice mislabeled as 100 percent pomegranate juice, as well as one for the adulteration of honey.

USP tells ABC News that liquids and ground foods in general are the easiest to tamper with:
    Olive oil: often diluted with cheaper oils
    Lemon juice: cheapened with water and sugar
    Tea: diluted with fillers like lawn grass or fern leaves
    Spices: like paprika or saffron adulterated with dangerous food colorings that mimic the colors

Milk, honey, coffee and syrup are also listed by the USP as being highly adulterated products.

Also high on the list: seafood. The number one fake being escolar, an oily fish that can cause stomach problems, being mislabeled as white tuna or albacore, frequently found on sushi menus.

National Consumers League did its own testing on lemon juice just this past year and found four different products labeled 100 percent lemon juice were far from pure.

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

Straight from the Horses' Mouth
  In addition, 70% of all ground beef was found to contain "pink slime".

Butchers use "meat glue" to create "bigger" cuts of beef, chicken, lamb and fish, even though it leads to much higher levels of food poisoning.

British hamburgers were found to contain horse meat and pork ... and it could happen in the U.S. as well. (says Forbes)

Indeed, modern red meat is arguably not really meat at all.


And selling genetically modified food without labeling them as such is arguably food fraud as well, since a large majority of Americans want genetically modified foods to be labeled. Genetically engineered foods have been linked to obesity, cancer, liver failure, infertility and all sorts of other diseases, and the Food and Drug Administration doesn't even test the safety of such foods.



  1. It's scary as hell, eh?

    Thankfully Australia lags behind the US in the worst of these things (GMOs, feedlots, meat glue, etc), but not by that much. It's like we can clearly see our future before us, yet we are doing nothing to change our path.

    1. Darren, sorry to hear that.

      I often get a bit of pastured butter from New Zealand, based on what I read of their restrictions on antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides, etc.

  2. Sigh.

    I'm even more glad I raise most of my own food. At least I know what's in it. Olive oil, huh? Was there any list of brands? I can't grow olive oil. Don't drink coffee or tea. Raise as much of my own herbs as I can, but spices... Again, any brands? I don't do juices (too much sugar) but I do buy organic lemon juice. We raise all our own meat, so that's not an issue.

    Thanks for the heads up!!

    1. Nope, no list of brands. I use a LOT OF EVOO, and the real thing is costly... but so are health problems.

      I either grow my own veggies or source them locally for the most part, and buy local grass-fed meats. I even grow saffron, but other spices I love are tropical and will not grow here. I try to buy Frontier Herbs at the Natural Food stores. My cousin has worked for them 20+ years and says they are really picky about quality.

      Lemons are a problem for me now because of the cost. They used to be one of the cheapest things in the produce section, and always juicy. I read somewhere that you can freeze whole lemons and just grate the amount you need for a dish.

  3. Whoa, just saw this on an effort to artificially sweeten milk & not label it.

  4. Yep, I read that today on the Federal Register, and have started a post about it for later tomorrow. It's NOT just artificial sweeteners, either...

  5. I hope this doesn't come through twice. I just tried to comment but I think I lost it.

    Thanks for the update. (behind again...) Do you have a "garden buddy" that can work w/you in getting your garden in? That would be wonderful!!! :)

    1. Wouldn't it be wonderful if I actually DID have a "garden buddy"?

      Everyone on my street is either too elderly, or doesn't have a garden at all, and after 6+ years here, I still know only a very few people.


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