(CBS) — Buyer beware with some of your favorite foods.
Researchers say nearly 10 percent of all food is fraudulent. That means it is labeled wrong or its diluted or it’s not what it claims to be.
CBS 2’s Kate Sullivan reports.
You’re out food shopping, how do you know if what’s on the label is what you’re getting? Dr. Amy Kircher at the National Center for Food Protection and Defense says sometimes it’s hard to know for sure.
“We’ve captured 26 events where there’s been some type of fraud in alcoholic beverages,” she says.
In one case, a company was putting an ingredient found in anti-freeze into vodka.
Some of the other foods that can be less than what they seem:
Spices. They can be filled with heavier and cheaper substitutes that are not included on the label.
Olive Oil has been found to contain cheaper oils, and lemon juice is often diluted with water. And when it comes to fresh fish, cheaper types can be passed off as the more expensive ones; for example, tuna is sometimes replaced with less costly escolar.
“Escolar is a product that causes gastro-intestinal problems in people,” Dr. Kircher says. “So, when you substitute it, there’s a public health risk.”
Finally, watch out if one brand is dramatically cheaper than the others as has been found to be the case with olive oil.
“Those things with a higher dollar value are at a higher risk for food fraud,” Kircher says.
Another food to watch out for is honey. Some brands have been found to have additives that include antibiotics. Kircher says it’s best to buy honey from a local source.
Another food to watch out for is honey. Some brands have been found to have additives that include antibiotics. It’s best to buy honey from a local source.