Originally published February 28 2014
Fake food being sold by criminal organizations across Europe
by L.J. Devon, Staff Writer
(NaturalNews) In light of recent investigations exposing fake fruit in popular breakfast cereals, the Health Ranger has begun unmasking misleading packaging claims, revealing the truth about the ingredients listed on product labels.
While cereal falsehoods are exposed at the Natural News forensic food lab, more investigations in Europe reveal that fake food is actually being pushed by criminal organizations who relabel and repackage foods with drugs, chemicals and fillers. This criminal fake food may include up to 40 percent of products sold in Europe today.
New European investigations reveal dangerous fake juice, tea, meat, rice, flour and milk productsThese fake products include food like "ham" that is actually just a "meat emulsion," teas that are loaded with prescription drugs, prawns that are actually just 50 percent water and fruit juices that are made of banned chemical additives.
The findings, published in the Guardian newspaper, reveal mass deception of food products manufactured and distributed in Europe. A council laboratory in West Yorkshire has found that nearly forty percent of nine hundred food samples are actually fake, mislabeled or falsely advertised.
"Herbal slimming tea" contains dangerous levels of obesity medsThe counterfeit products include supposedly healthy "herbal slimming teas" which actually contain no herbs or teas. Instead, these slimming potions are made with a glucose powder mixed with a prescription obesity medication. The fake slimming tea actually contained amounts of a prescription drug 13 times greater than the normal dose!
The dangers don't end there. The investigation found a beef mince that was advertised as pork and poultry. The product contained very little real meat.
The investigations led to the discovery of 22 tons of long-grain rice that were about to be sold as much healthier basmati rice.
Cheap peanut butter was used as filler in an almond flour product, while products labeled "goat's milk" actually contained cow's milk. These cheats could negatively affect people's allergies. Another controversial food marketed to children included the highly toxic industrial red dye rhodamine B.
Drinks were also found to be routinely counterfeit. One vodka product drew the concerns of news agents. The fake vodka failed to meet the percentage of alcohol scribed on the label. In one case, a vodka drink actually contained isopropanol, which is an industrial antifreeze solvent.
Another illegal product being peddled was a "fruit juice" that actually contained large amounts of brominated vegetable oil, which is a banned flame retardant chemical linked to behavioral problems.
Further investigations found that manufacturers of meat products were using meat-mincing machines that were not cleaned thoroughly. Cheaper meat was often thrown in to make real meat go further, while some meat was colored pink to make it appear normal.
International food regulation agencies scramble to pen down criminal food organizationsThe 40 percent rate of fake products may be a growing trend in Europe, according to concerns expressed by study experts. The products came from a variety of sources, including fast food restaurants, independent retailers, large department stores and manufacturers, showing how deep the criminal operations run.
West Yorkshire's public analyst, Dr. Duncan Campbell, told the Guardian: "We are routinely finding problems with more than a third of samples, which is disturbing at a time when the budget for food standards inspection and analysis is being cut."
Rob Wainwright, director of Europol, the European police intelligence organization, mentioned that fake food has become "a major new part of the underground economy."
Interpol agent Mike Ellis said that gangs are using increasingly sophisticated machinery to counterfeit food, including equipment that relabels products and changes expiration dates.
Restoring transparencyIn light of these new discoveries, it has become increasingly important for consumers to know exactly where their food comes from. With criminal organizations gaining control of food labels and packaging, it's becoming even more important for consumers to pay attention and educate themselves on what is going into their body. Some dangers may exist in plain sight. It's important to be aware of additives like brominated vegetable oil, or chemical dyes, or maltodextrose, or sodium nitrite. There are long lists of ingredients in foods that we can see and cannot see -- many of which are questionable; some of which are carcinogenic.
As fake food products are peddled by criminals and sold at grocery stores today, as lies are sung on product packaging, it is time to believe in honest grassroots-fueled transparency that can restore food purity for billions of people around the world.
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