Food fraud and food defense

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About this health talk

Organized by: World Health Organization


Although historically food safety focuses on preventing harm to the consumer when it is prepared and/or eaten, this should also encompass both intentional acts and unintentional contamination. In this context, food fraud is a collective term used to encompass the deliberate and intentional substitution, addition, tampering, or misrepresentation of food, food ingredients, or food packaging; or false or misleading statements made about a product for economic gain. While food fraud is often motivated by profit, some forms of food fraud can also pose a direct threat to the health of customers and consumers. As food fraud is mainly economically motivated, the potential harm to human health from such activities and fraudulent food products is often unintentional. Thus, for food safety it is also critical to consider the intentional harm to human health through food. In this context, the discipline of food defense refers to the protection of the food supply from intentional adulteration with a motive to cause harm.

This Health Talk on food safety in the context of food fraud and food defense aims to trigger reflections on current food fraud and food defense considerations from industry, academia and policy makers and their actions taken to develop and implement food safety measures.

Topics covered by this health talk

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