FDA Urged to Take On Food Fraud
That snapper you're eating probably isn't snapper
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2010 5:37 AM CDT
At least 5% to 7%, and possibly a much higher proportion, of the American food supply is mislabeled or diluted, experts say.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

(Newser) – Mislabeling and diluting of foodstuffs has reached epidemic levels during the economic downturn and the FDA isn't doing enough to combat the problem, industry groups say. Experts believe at least 5% of the American food is supply is mislabeled and say regulators should step up efforts to stop instances of food fraud—like "100% pure honey" diluted with corn syrup or Mississippi saddlefish sold as as sturgeon caviar; one 2004 study found 77% of US-sold snapper was mislabeled.

The problem, industry groups say, is that the FDA's resources are so limited that it has little time to address food fraud that won't harm or kill customers. They urge the agency to increase DNA testing—which can now spot mislabeled rice and coffee as well as animal products—and set standards to allow producers to sue sellers of adulterated olive oil and honey.