Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Edible Fake Food Is A Real Problem, But Who Has Your Back?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, September 7, 2020

Food Fraud: How Do You Know What You Buy Is What It’s Labeled As Being?

What is it, how often, and where does it occur?

Who does it?

What’s being done about it?

Sure, you may pooh-pooh the thought, the idea, the notion, that someone, anyone (people) could be defrauded in food purchases.

And quite frankly, the reason why, is that YOU TAKE IT FOR GRANTED.

Yes, 99.99% of ALL PEOPLE in the United States TAKE FOR GRANTED THAT THEIR FOOD IS WHAT IT IS LABELED TO BE.

Milk, for example, comes from a mammal, such as a cow, or goat – NOT a plant, NOT a nut (almond) – a MAMMAL.

Horse, or donkey milk isn’t a popular item in the States. And I don’t think that I’ve ever seen, or heard of camel’s milk anywhere stateside.

But, there is NO SUCH THING as “almond milk.” It’s actually a HIGHLY PROCESSED, chemically-produced, made-in-a-chemical-laboratory concoction that’s a poor wanna-be ALMOND JUICE, or some other disgusting kind of slurry of crushed almonds that couldn’t make the cut for edible snacks.

If you want REAL FOOD, only buy REAL FOOD.

Same thing goes for the gobbledygook parading as “turkey bacon.” There’s NO SUCH THING. BACON COMES FROM THE PORK BELLY – NOT GROUND-UP, HIGHLY PROCESSED TURKEY MEAT.

The etymology of the word “bacon” (its origin and derivation) is from the:

“early 14c., “meat from the back and sides of a hog” (originally either fresh or cured, but especially cured), from Old French bacon, from Proto-Germanic *bakkon “back meat” (source also of Old High German bahho, Old Dutch baken “bacon”). Slang phrase bring home the bacon first recorded 1908; bacon formerly being the staple meat of the working class and the rural population (in Shakespeare bacon is a derisive term for “a rustic”).”

Chicken, beef, pork… same thing. Not only is it by law, USDA inspected to be free from diseases or defects, and for cleanliness and sanitary conditions of slaughter and preparation, it’s the world’s HIGHEST quality for those reasons.

And, believe it, or else, in some nations – such as China, or India – food is REGULARLY adulterated (contaminated and mixed with) non-food items such as cellulose (paper/wood pulp), then sold to unsuspecting consumers. And, it’s NOT illegal.

Adulterated, and purposely mislabeled food is NOT a problem with a limited scope, or occurrence, and sadly, in recent years, with the proliferation and increase in global trade, it has increased in volume, and incidents, at home, and abroad.

For examples of other such instances, see:
https://foodrevolution.org/blog/food-fraud-olive-oil-and-avocado-oil/

https://globalnews.ca/news/4014182/food-fraud-avoiding-fake-product/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/larryolmsted/2019/02/17/5-fake-foods-and-food-scams-you-need-to-avoid/

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/over-%E2%82%AC100-million-worth-of-fake-food-and-drinks-seized-in-latest-europol-interpol-operation

https://realfoodfakefood.com/

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/china-fake-food-sector-unlicensed-products-knock-offs-supply-chain-contamination-public-health-alibaba-walmart-inscatech-a7880341.html

https://www.fraud.org/fraud_food

https://nationalpost.com/life/food/food-fraud-hits-one-of-italys-most-famous-products-raising-questions-about-effectiveness-of-gourmet-labels

The United States’ food safety and health laws have historically prevented such abusive, deceptive practices from occurring. It doesn’t mean, however, that it never occurs. I have written about this subject previously.

And yet, mostly-Republican administrations (including this one) have attempted to cut back on the number of USDA inspectors in such slaughter and meat processing facilities.

THAT is why there have been outbreaks of COVID-19 in the facilities – the employees are being worked to death – LITERALLY – and in unsanitary, and unhygienic conditions.

The argument that the Republicans make is that employees in the company can do the job just as well.

Um… NO, THEY CAN’T!

And, they don’t.

Again, Republicans labor under the misguided notion that the market will magically take care of itself without governmental intervention.

Um… NO, IT WON’T!

And, it doesn’t.

For an examination of the reason(s) why – with pictures – read this entry from Tuesday, March 13, 2012:

What does an unregulated, “free market economy” look like?

According to Republican theory, the larger our nation becomes, the smaller the government should become. They cite their warped ideas upon a falsified, demented, and warped notion of the economies of scale.

As the website Investopedia states, “Economies of scale are cost advantages reaped by companies when production becomes efficient. Companies can achieve economies of scale by increasing production and lowering costs. This happens because costs are spread over a larger number of goods. Costs can be both fixed and variable.”

One of the primary differences between a for-profit Wall$reet-traded international mega conglomerate and the government, is that the for-profit Wall$reet-traded international mega conglomerate must return profit to stock shareholders, whereas when the government “makes a profit,” they return that as a savings via price reduction, to the ultimate consumer of the product, good, or service. That’s why TVA charges significantly lower rates for electricity than does Southern Company, the nation’s 2nd largest utility company, and another example of the for-profit Wall$reet-traded mega conglomerate which supplies electricity and natural gas in 6 SouthEastern United States.

Another example of that model is with EPB (Electric Power Board) in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which after a fiber optic upgrade to their network communications in order to more efficiently provide service, and reduce costs, they made an amazing discovery – they had significantly more bandwidth than they needed to perform their job. So, they decided to sell the excess to the public – where they’d already installed fiber optic communications grid. The fiber optic Internet connectivity provided by EPB was of significantly HIGHER quality and, significantly LOWER cost than the only Internet Service Provider in town… Comcast – America’s Most Hated Company.

Comcast didn’t like the idea that suddenly, they had competition, and a superior competitor, so they sued EPB… on the grounds that “you can’t do that,” i.e., provide Internet service. Seriously, they did. And, they lost. So they appealed. And they lost. And then, they appealed again. And they lost… again. So then they turned to their ally – U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn, a Republican who didn’t even represent the Chattanooga area district, and asked her to write a bill which would effectively prevent any public-owned utility from doing what EPB was doing – providing super quality fiber optic communications, and phenomenally lower costs, and expanding rural broadband access in the process. Her bill didn’t get any traction. Neither should it be surprising to know that Blackburn has also been the recipient of a significant amount of political contributions from Comcast, and other Wall$teet-traded for-profit communication giants, all of whom have “skin in the game,” and a vested interest in limiting competition, precisely because it threatens their profitability, and existence.

Even Saint Ronald Reagan, who should in all actuality be identified as the Benighted Saint Reagan, in his first Inaugural Address specifically stated that “Government is the problem.”

“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price.”

Obviously, if government is the problem, then the solution to that problem is the abolition, and elimination of government. And that is precisely what they’ve been hell-bent upon doing… tearing down every vestige of government.

So, it should come as NO SURPRISE that recently, “a North Carolina man pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III in the Eastern District of North Carolina on charges that his company, Garland F. Fulcher Seafood Company Inc. (Garland Fulcher), at his direction, falsely labeled hundreds of thousands dollars’ worth of foreign crabmeat as “Product of USA.””

Seafood Processor Pleads Guilty to Selling Foreign Crabmeat Falsely Labeled as Blue Crab from USA

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/seafood-processor-pleads-guilty-selling-foreign-crabmeat-falsely-labeled-blue-crab-usa

“According to information in the public record, Jeffrey A. Styron was the treasurer of the corporate board of officers for Garland Fulcher, a North Carolina company engaged in the business of purchasing, processing, packaging, transporting and selling seafood and seafood products, including crabmeat from domestically harvested blue crab.

As treasurer, Styron was responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the company’s crab-related business, which involved managing and directing employees of the company with respect to the processing, packaging, and labeling of crab meat. Styron pleaded guilty to a one-count information charging him with substituting foreign crabmeat for domestic blue crab and, as part of the plea, Styron admitted to falsely labeling crabmeat with a retail market value of at least $250,000 dollars, which was sold primarily to small seafood retailers and restaurants.

“Blue crabs are a classic American seafood product and a vital resource for coastal communities in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and other parts of the United States,” said Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “This investigation is part of the department’s mission to work with our law enforcement partners in the protection of Atlantic blue crab populations and other marine resources.”

““Seafood mislabeling is consumer fraud that undermines efforts of hardworking, honest fisherman and the free market by devaluing the price of domestic seafood,” said U.S. Attorney Robert J. Higdon Jr. for the Eastern District of North Carolina. “In this case, the fraudulent scheme artificially deflated the cost of domestic blue crab and gave Styron and Garland Fulcher Seafood an unacceptable and unfair economic advantage over law-abiding competitors.”

““Seafood fraud undermines the economic viability of U.S. and global fisheries, deceives consumers, and threatens the health of those who consume tainted or misidentified seafood products,” said Chris Oliver, Assistant Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service. “This case is a great example of investigative cooperation by state and federal law enforcement to strengthen seafood fraud detection and safeguard the industry and consumers.”

“As part of his guilty plea, Styron admitted that he and his company could not and did not process sufficient quantities of domestic blue crab to meet customer demands. To make up the shortfall, Styron and his company used foreign crabmeat to fulfill customer orders. During the periods when the company did not have a sufficient supply of domestic crab, Styron and Garland Fulcher purchased crabmeat (not live crabs) from South America and Asia.

“As part of the guilty plea, Styron further admitted that beginning at least as early as Jan. 1, 2014, and continuing through Dec. 31, 2017, he directed company employees to repack foreign crabmeat into containers labeled “Product of USA,” which Garland Fulcher then sold to customers as “backfin,” “claw,” “lump,” “jumbo lump,” or “special,” domestically-harvested blue crab meat.

“Styron is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 7.

“This case was part of an ongoing effort by NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement, in coordination with the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Justice to detect, deter and prosecute those engaged in the false labeling of crabmeat.

“This prosecution is being handled by the Environment and Natural Resources Division’s Environmental Crimes Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Senior Litigation Counsel Banumathi Rangarajan and Trial Attorney Gary N. Donner are prosecuting the case.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at http://www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

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