– This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on April 16, Wednesday.
Welcome to the CNBC Business Daily.
The U.S. Consumer Price Index for March showed that food prices increased 0.4 percent since February. But prices aren't the only thing going up. Food fraud is increasing as well.
CNBC's Sheila Dharmarajan has this alarming story.
SO YOU BUY A PIECE OF TUNA FOR DINNER.
ARE YOU SURE ITS TUNA?
BUYER BEWARE. IT COULD BE ESCOLAR ....
[MATT BIRCK, Chemist, C.B.P] "Which is an edible fish, but if you have more than a small amount of it at a time, it can cause digestive issues."
AND THAT'S JUST A DROP IN THE BUCKET...OR OCEAN...UP TO ONE THIRD OF SEAFOOD IS MISLABELED SAYS ADVOCACY GROUP OCEANA.
AND UP TO 10% OF ALL COMMERCIALLY SOLD FOOD A YEAR - INCLUDING HONEY, SPICES, JUICES - AREN'T WHAT THEY CLAIM TO BE
FOOD FRAUD - CAN COST THE INDUSTRY UP TO 15 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR SAYS THE GROCERY MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION.
AND ITS ON THE RISE.
OUR FOOD SUPPLY IS NOW IMPORTED FROM EVERYWHERE.
WHICH MAKES TRACING THE SOURCE TRICKY....
COMBINE THAT WITH RAZOR THIN MARGINS....FOOD, EXPERTS SAY, IS RIPE FOR FRAUD.
[Laura Goldstein / Lab Director, C.B.P] "They're getting better at faking everything."
SCARY STUF BUT THE GOOD NEWS?
GOVERNMENT AND INDUSTRY ARE RAMPING UP EFFORTS TO PREVENT IT.
CNBC WAS ALLOWED EXCLUSIVE ACCESS TO THIS CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION LAB .
HERE SCIENTISTS AND SPECIALLY TRAINED OFFICERS....ARE THE FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE.
[MATT BIRCK / Chemist, C.B.P] "Ee can take in a piece of an animal, or a piece of a plant, or a whole one potentially, and look at its genetics and tell exactly what it is."
THE F-D-A... THE U-S DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE...AND SEVERAL OTHER AGENECIES ARE ALSO INVOLVED IN PREVENTING FOOD FRAUD.
BUT CRITICS SAYS...THAT CAN BE PROBLEMATIC.
FOR EXAMPLE, THE FDA MONITORS EGGS IN SHELLS...BUT EGGS IN A PRODUCT? THATS THE U-S-D-A.
SHEILA: Do things fall through the cracks because you have so many hands in the pot?
[Laura Goldstein / Lab Director, C.B.P] "No. I think because we've got so many hands that we actually get to cover those cracks more.
COMPAINES ARE ALSO STEPPING UP THE FIGHT AGAINST FOOD FRAUD.
COSTCO FOR EXAMPLE, KEEPS A DATABASE OF OLIVE TREE DNA... TO TRACE ITS OLIVE OIL.
WHOLE FOODS RELIES ON CLOSE VENDOR PARTNERSHIPS....RANDOM SPOT CHECKS....TASTING...AND MORE TASTING.
[Christina Minardi President, Whole Foods] "When we're developing a relationship with a vendor, we have them sign an affidavit that ensures that everything they say is it that product, is in that product and nothing else"
Sheila: And then you also have to follow-up on your vendors quite rigorously
Christina Minardi: Yes, yes. We do testing, we test product, and if there is a one-off, we immediately remove that product from the shelves
Grocery Manufacturers Association is saying this will cost the food sector around 10 to 15 BILLION dollars.
It could also impact up to 10% of all commercially sold food products in the U.S.
We'll have to watch and see how this is going to affect the larger economy.
That wraps up this edition of the Business Daily.
I'm Sri Jegarajah, reporting from CNBC's Asian headquarters.
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