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Overview

Objectives of the Project

The goal of BACCUS is to disseminate at EU level the best practice for that which concerns prevention, investigation, contrast procedures, tools and activities for fighting food crime.

The object is to promote and develop coordination, cooperation and mutual understanding among law enforcement agencies in EU-regions and other national authorities to improve the security of citizens through the development of common guidelines for food consumers disseminated by Consumers Association and Farmer’ Unions.

To this end, BACCUS will perform and an overview of the different experiences in Europe with the aim to translate the best-practice and the most useful experiences into common lessons to be given to the main actors in EU involved in food safety sector in order to promote a better cooperation, a common vocabulary and a stronger information sharing. In order to make the teaching more effective both traditional courses and an e-learning platform, will be developed.

 

Background

Product counterfeiting is a thriving multi-billion Euros global industry. Counterfeiting and tampering is a major issue for the food industry. Food fraud, which typically means the intentional adulteration of food with cheaper ingredients for economic gain, occupies an awkward gap between

-          food safety, which deals with accidental food contamination,

-          and food defence and bioterrorism which deals with intentional corruption of the food supply by terrorist groups,

it hasn't received much attention.

Food fraudsters include a range of types, from individuals and small teams all the way up to organised-crime syndicates and major corporations.

The profits of product counterfeiting have been shown to fund other organised criminal or terrorist activities.

In addition to the more dangerous forms of tampering or substitution, trademark or brand fraud both have an impact on consumer trust, and frequent or high-profile trademark infringements can seriously damage a product's or producer's market share.

Tackling food fraud is one of the main topics at European level especially in an economical crisis as in these years. To this end, it is mandatory to promote joined-up working across Europe on food fraud issues, to share best-practices between countries and to raise the general awareness of food fraud so that such crimes can be detected more quickly and tackled more effectively. Analysis of recent major incidents about food fraud reveals that pockets of intelligence often existed but that there was no process to connect the dots to raise a clear warning.

Governments need to improve controls by promoting increased corporate responsibility, identifying vulnerabilities and assessing risks. Increasing risk-based inspections and sampling; improving the detection of food system signals that indicate contamination; improving immediate response to contamination events; and improving risk communication all should be part of a more stringent regimen.

 

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