Food Fraud in Canada
Food fraud takes place when food or food labeling is substituted, tampered or misrepresented for economic gain. Transparency and trust in global food chains have emerged as growing concerns for regulators, consumers, and food businesses alike because of recurring incidents of food fraud. To rebuild trust, effective regulatory-based deterrents, modern science-based identification methods, and food fraud prosecution are required to maintain integrity and trust in national food control systems.
The report explores:
- Characteristics of food fraud
- Scope of the issue
- How food fraud is currently addressed through science, regulations, and penalties
- Impacts of food fraud on different groups
- The challenges and barriers to detecting and preventing food fraud incidents
- Opportunities to collaborate and develop solutions to combat food fraud in Canada
A Novel Framework
To our knowledge, this is the first document to contextualize the topic of food fraud across Canada’s agri-food system and to present a novel intervention framework to Deter, Identify and Prosecute (DIP) food fraud. In this context, deter refers to the strengthening of regulatory and legal deterrents. Identify refers to the scientific methods to identify food fraud and prosecute refers to the ability to use the scientific evidence as a basis to prosecute bad actors. We believe that this novel framework captures and integrates the key components which are essential to reducing the risk of food fraud in Canada.
We would like to extend special thanks to Wilton Consulting, Synthesis Agri-Food Network, Alice Raine, Elizabeth Shantz, Alysa JK Loring, Madeleine Arseneau, Jocelyn Kelly and the University of Guelph for administrative support. We are especially grateful to John Keogh, Professor of Practice at the McGill University Centre for the Convergence of Health and Economics. This report was supported by the Food from Thought research program at the University of Guelph, funded by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund.
The Spotlight projects have been developed in collaboration with the Research Innovation Office at the University of Guelph.
Food Fraud: Understanding the Risks and Exploring Opportunities for Leadership
Arrell Scholar Sujani Rathnayake explains the food fraud issue, as well as the deterrents, identification methods, and prosecution required to maintain and build trust in the food system.