Buyer Beware: 7 Food Frauds to Watch For...
Powdered spices especially, such as turmeric, saffron and chili powder, can be diluted or replaced outright with less expensive spices or fillers.
Some products, as Natural News has reported, are labeled "100 percent pomegranate juice," but in fact are filled mostly with other fruit juices or sugar water.
Beverage giant Coca-Cola was recently able to dodge a federal claim of false advertising on one of its "pomegranate" drinks - but just barely. Minute Maid, which is a subsidiary of Coca-Cola, can continue to label one of its drinks "Pomegranate Blueberry," even though it is almost entirely made of apple and grape juices, and contains a paltry 0.3 percent pomegranate juice and 0.2 percent blueberry juice.
Touted for its overall health benefits, olive oil is being utilized more and more by Americans interested in a cleaner diet. But, USP says, some olive oils are being diluted with less expensive vegetable oils, which is not only fraudulent but which serves as a far less healthy food choice.
That "white tuna" on your plate of sushi may, in reality, be far less expensive escolar, which is a fish that is banned in other countries including Italy and Japan because it has a high content of waxy esters that contribute to a kind of food poisoning called gempylotixism. The FDA approved escolar for consumption in the early 1990s, but the agency advises against selling or eating it.
Lemon Juice, other fruit juices, jams and jellies
Sometimes foreign makers of these food items include clouding agents in them to make them appear as though they are fresh-squeezed. The USP says about 4,000 people in Taiwan became sick recently after ingesting products that had been filled with dangerous phthalates, a chemical that is also found in plastic, the report said.
Yes, even that ubiquitous, acidic morning beverage can be fraudulent. Coffee can often be laced with other fillers to increase volume and boost profits by decreasing manufacturing costs.
Maple syrup, honey
These products can often be filled with high fructose corn syrup and other sugars, thereby diluting their purity and making them fraudulent.
Don't be duped
So, how do you know if what you are buying is legitimate or fraudulent? Lipp says there are a number of steps consumers can take to avoid being duped.
They include: doing your homework and not being afraid to contact manufacturers to inquire about their ingredients, buy whole foods when possible, and know what a bargain is and what isn't. For instance, if you spot an entire gallon of "extra virgin" olive oil that is far cheaper than similar products, you're probably not getting a legitimate product.