New food fraud. Are supermarkets labeling imported products as if they were Spanish?

Desserts

Last Friday we learned that FACUA denounced a new food fraud. Are supermarkets labeling imported products as if they were Spanish? As we are all becoming aware of consuming local products to promote the culture of Kilometer 0 or proximity products, some entrepreneurs have thought of falsifying the labeling of products to deceive consumers into believing that we are buying local products.

Some time ago I myself denounced here that many of the asparagus we eat come from Peru or that the Castilian lentils come from the United States, but in that case, the fault was ours because the labeling clearly indicated it and we were buying without noticing the labels.

I can also tell you that at the national level, one out of every three apples that we buy comes from other European countries -in the case of Madrid and Barcelona, ‚Äč‚Äčeven more so since two out of three are imported and only one is national- which is especially serious when we are one of the big producers of apples of all varieties.

But the case at hand is more serious, since it is not only a case of imported products being sold instead of national ones with the consequent cost to the environment, transport, emissions and damage to local producers, but a case of labeling fraud, selling imported products labeling them as if they were Spanish products.

Alarmed by the news, I went to two supermarkets to look and came across two pieces of news, one good and one bad. The good news is that -at least apparently- in my supermarket foreign products are labeled as such, and the bad news is also the same, since I was able to verify that most of the products, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, came from countries of the European Union, and Latin America and they were not from our country.

How to check it?

For the consumer, this fraud is terrible since it is practically impossible for us to verify it. Our only information when buying a fruit or a vegetable is precisely the table where the variety, price and origin are indicated, but we cannot check in any way if the information on the table corresponds to that of the product, since we do not see how is unpacked.

If the supermarkets are unscrupulous, they could be giving us a pig for a hare, as we already denounced a long time ago regarding fish, and we would practically not know it. And so how could we fix it?

What can be done?

First, open your eyes and do not buy any product but look at its origin, ask in case of doubt the staff of the establishment - those who attend us - and try to be aware of the origin of the things that we take home.

Of course, the most important thing is to have independent institutions like the CSIC that guarantee a control system so that we eat well. The work of the health and inspection authorities is also important, they must carry out controls so that we can be calm. They can ask the supermarket for delivery notes, purchase invoices and thus verify that they correspond with the information boards or with the labeling.

Another important thing is to try to buy seasonal products. For example, the other day I saw tangerines at the supermarket. Obviously, if they are mandarins, they are not in season and they have to come from the southern hemisphere, as can be seen in the labeling in the next photo. If we see mandarins labeled as Spanish in September, we can suspect that it is not a product that is being grown now since its harvest occurs in the month of January.

In any case, luckily every time the inspection work of the state, regional and municipal authorities is more aware of the fight against food fraud, one of the priorities of their action since - in addition to the fraud itself - can be a serious public health issue.

Hopefully the next news we have to read or publish on these issues is the news that the number of inspectors has increased, which will help combat this type of food fraud and, incidentally, reduce the number of people in a situation of unemployment.

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Tags:  Recipes Selection Desserts 

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