Resnick Innovation in the Food Sector

Food Authenticity and Food Fraud: Developing a Toolkit

The Resnick Center is developing a toolkit on economically motivated adulteration (EMA), known colloquially as "food fraud." Food fraud occurs when what the consumer thinks they are eating (olive oil, fish, honey, and juice are some of the most at-risk foods) isn’t what they are actually eating. It also includes labeling fraud. In other words, EMA is the process by which components of a food are diluted, substituted, omitted or concealed for the purpose of economic gain, and its enforcement as well as its connections to other food policy issues are a priority for Executive Director of the Resnick Center, Michael T. Roberts.

The EMA toolkit will provide an overview of the topic, explain government regulation and soft law approaches to dealing with EMA, and provide guidance and recommendations to consumers and advocates. Most importantly, the toolkit recommends that EMA be addressed by elevating the value of food authenticity to something akin to that given to the concept of sustainability. The Resnick Center intends to release the toolkit with further EMA-related work currently in development, targeting a wide audience and especially policy makers. This ongoing research and writing will address the connection between food authenticity and sustainability and the ways that everyone in the farm-to-fork supply chain can benefit from eliminating opportunities for fraud.

Eating Matters, Episode 16 - Food: When It's Not What You Think