Canadian laws prohibit the misrepresentation of food. Mislabelling, adulteration and substitution of food are forms of misrepresentation and may constitute food fraud. To this end, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is helping ensure food is properly labelled and safe to consume, and that businesses can compete fairly in the Canadian marketplace.
The CFIA’s newly published Food Fraud Annual Report: 2020 to 2021 outlines the results of its enhanced surveillance activities to test the authenticity of 5 foods: honey, fish, olive oil, other expensive oils (such as, sesame seed oil, grapeseed oil, coconut oil and others), and spices. Overall, CFIA’s testing showed 4 of the 5 commodities had satisfactory results above 87% while expensive oils (other than olive oil) had 66% satisfactory results. These 5 foods were selected as they are commonly reported as products likely to be misrepresented.
In instances where the results were unsatisfactory, the CFIA took corrective or enforcement action, including products being removed from Canada, or their detention, destruction, or relabelling. The results of the CFIA’s work are being used to inform future sampling and inspection strategies to better target foods that are more likely to be misrepresented.