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Counterfeit Fish, Olive Oil, Vanilla and more here in the US

Posted Jan 22 2009 5:14pm

This story is an eye opener for sure, especially if one is trying to eat healthy.  That snapper may not be real snapper, but rather another fish and this could happen at a Sushi restaurant.  The olive oil is more of a problem for restaurants than groceries you buy at the store with 10% soybean added. 

There’s even some reports of Maple syrup being adulterated.  Makes you think twice about pancakes. 

A while back, Hershey’s made an economic decision too, not real cocoa butter in some of their chocolate products. 

The one to watch out for though is vanilla, mostly made in Mexico.  This is our next product to be wary of, as it contains an ingredient related to Warfarin, so you could be consuming the Vanilla and getting a little blood thinning action going on at the same time.  The good thing though is most don’t consume vanilla in large amounts, but still the FDA warns against products made with Tonka beans that contain courmarin, the cousin to Coumadin.  BD 

Coumarin is chemically related to warfarin, a blood thinner, and can be dangerous. It's "no bargain," the FDA says.

Fish is the most frequently faked food Americans buy. In the business, it's called "species adulteration" — selling a cheaper fish such as pen-raised Atlantic salmon as wild Alaska salmon.

When Consumer Reports tested 23 supposedly wild-caught salmon fillets bought nationwide in 2005-2006, only 10 were wild salmon. The rest were farmed. In 2004, University of North Carolina scientists found 77% of fish labeled red snapper was actually something else. Last year, the Chicago Sun-Time s tested fish at 17 sushi restaurants and found that fish being sold as red snapper actually was mostly tilapia.

"When you cook it, the wild salmon retains its color, and in the aquaculture salmon, the color tends to leak out," she says. Suspicious consumers can call the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Nutrition hotline at 1-888-SAFEFOOD.

There are no national figures on olive-oil fakery. But after complaints, Connecticut began testing two years ago. "We were coming across a lot of products labeled as extra-virgin olive oil that contained up to 90% soybean oil," says Jerry Farrell Jr., Connecticut's commissioner of consumer protection.

Something fishy? Counterfeit foods enter the U.S. market - USATODAY.com

Related Reading:

Hershey’s Chocolate Makes an economic decision

FDA Warns of Dangers of Mexican Vanilla – Tonka Beans, Not Vanilla Beans

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