Resnick Program for Food Law & Policy

White Paper: The Pursuit of Food Authenticity - Recommended Legal & Policy Strategies to Eradicate Economically Motivated Adulteration (Food Fraud)

Michael T. Roberts and Whitney Turk

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The publication of this White Paper coincides with an uptick in media attention globally on this type of fraud - dilution, substitution, omission, or concealment, all for the purpose of economic gain. The White Paper notes that this fraud (EMA) often leads to food safety incidents and cheats consumers.

As with food law in general, the regulation of EMA can be convoluted, leading to weak enforcement by the government. Recognizing that the current political reality does not support new regulations, the paper recommends that the FDA enforce the existing statutory mandate against EMA for the benefit of consumers in a smart, efficient manner by setting enforcement priorities and by collaborating with science experts and the food industry. The paper also recommends that the food industry address food fraud by embracing the norm of food authenticity and establishing self-governance rules as it has done so with sustainability. Last, the paper proposes specific changes in litigation against food fraud.