World Trade Organization (WTO) just published an interesting report titled “Illicit trade in food and food fraud“.

Key elements/inputs:

?? WTO role: The WTO agreements provide a legal framework for combating illicit trade in food.

? hashtag#FoodSafety: Emphasis on modern food safety legislation to prevent fraud.

? Collaboration: The importance of public-private and international cooperation is stressed. Collaboration between governments, industry, and international organizations is crucial to tackle food fraud effectively.

? Economic Impact: Illicit trade in food causes significant economic losses. Illicit trade in food results in an estimated $30-50 billion annual loss, affecting both the economy and consumer trust.

? Global Food Security: Food fraud undermines global food security and agri-food value chains.

?? Investigations: Timely and thorough investigations are crucial.

? Supply Chains: Globalization increases the complexity and risk of food fraud. The complexity of global supply chains creates opportunities for illegal activities, emphasizing the need for stringent regulatory measures.

? Customs Enforcement: Effective customs procedures are vital in combating fraud. A Trade Facilitation Agreement aims to simplify customs procedures, reducing opportunities for exploitation by fraudsters.

? Prevention: Prevention is more cost-effective than reacting to fraud.

?? Regulatory Solutions: The need for holistic food systems thinking to address fraud. Smooth application of the WTO’s SPS and TBT agreements is considered essential in preventing food fraud. Accurate food labeling and the enforcement of intellectual property rights help protect consumers from fraudulent products.

???? Health Risks: Counterfeit and substandard food products pose significant public health risks, including malnutrition and disease.

? Future Directions: Ongoing WTO agriculture negotiations and the development of new guidelines by the Codex Alimentarius Commission are steps towards enhancing global food security and combating food fraud.

The report contains also, in Chapter 7, the analysis of several well-known case studies.

Happy to hear your thoughts on this!

WTO report on “Illicit trade in food and food fraud”

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