Food: Fraud

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 1st March 2017.

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Photo of Lord Pendry Lord Pendry Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of evidence that some producers of honey are falsely labelling it as Manuka honey, what precautions are in place to monitor fraudulent practice within the honey industry; and what measures they intend to put in place to regulate the labelling of all food products in order to prevent fraud.

Photo of Lord Gardiner of Kimble Lord Gardiner of Kimble The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Food business must ensure that their products are safe, accurately labelled and compliant with all relevant legislation. Local authorities are responsible for monitoring food, and carry out risk-based checks to ensure that businesses are compliant with the law. Potential breaches are taken seriously and local authorities will decide on the appropriate corrective action, consistent with UK legislation and proportionate to the nature of the breach. The Government has also set up the National Food Crime Unit to increase the capacity to identify, disrupt and prevent food crime.

Under the General Food Law Regulation (EC) 178/2002 and the Food Information for Consumers Regulation (EU) 1169/2011, food labelling must not mislead the consumer. The Honey Regulations 2015 lay down compositional requirements for honey and require that when the floral origin of a honey is given, such honey must come wholly or mainly from that plant.

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