It seems as thought the pace of food fraud legislation is quickening. At close-of-business last week I came across a pair of stories about new laws regulating the fraudulent marketing of two different agricultural products.
In California, Governor Brown signed into law a new set of olive oil standards regulating the standards for grades like extra virgin and virgin olive oil. Right now the california olive oil industry is fighting for its life against a viscous tsunami of cheap, intentionally mislabeled imports from North Africa, Crete and Spain, which in my haughty opinion are only fit for biodiesel.
In the US Senate, Senator Pat Leahy introduced a bill this week to criminalize the labeling of “maple” syrup products which do not contain maple syrup in their ingredients. Maple syrup has been the victim of food fraud for as far back as you care to research the issue.
These kinds of food laws which regulate the quality, labeling, and marketing of foods were once the domain of bulk producers like Florida oranges of Idaho potatoes, not the kind of stuff you splurge on. It is gratifying to see anti-fraud laws written for products with a smaller market share. That should tell you that the market for niche-products and luxury foods is getting more competitive.