Fake Food Alert!

by Steven Carney on January 31, 2013

The U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) has issued a new report on fake and adulterated foods. This group has analyzed various packaged foods to uncover what’s actually in them. They found more examples of false and exaggerated labeling for food ingredients and their new report shows a 60% increase in food fraud and adulteration. Here are some of their worst offenders:

  • Pomegranate juice
  • Olive oils
  • Lemon juices
  • Teas
  • Spices

They also found that several other foods, including milk, honey and coffee, are sometimes extended or adulterated with cheaper ingredients. Overall, their fake foods included things like juice and oil fillers/extenders, extra sugar, water, colorings, dyes, etc., to extend food contents and charge you for things you are not getting! If you look at the above list, you see mostly liquids and ground/processed foods. They are frequent sources of food fraud because they are easy to falsify.

The USP compiled about 800 new food fraud complaints to their database!

Take lemon juice for example: All the versions tested were labeled as 100% lemon juice, but some had only 10%, 15%, 25%, or 35% lemon juice! Those numbers aren’t even close to 100%! We could probably live with 95% or 98% lemon juice but 25%? It’s fraud, pure and simple. You’re paying for water, added sugar and other extenders!

An ABC video included some additional details (see second link below) with a segment on DNA testing to identify ingredient DNA. The group found some cheese, caviar, pet food and tea also had fake ingredients or undisclosed fillers and extenders. Every consumer should be shocked and angered by the extent of these practices!

There’s more! Other foods that are fake or mislabeled include fish and seafood, sometimes misbranded by switching cheaper versions for more expensive ones. An example from the report was a fish called escolar, sometimes labeled as tuna or butter fish. When mislabeled as those more common fish and processed or in sushi, how would you know? BTW, escolar is banned in Japan and Italy because it has a significant potential for causing digestive problems and food poisoning!

Another food example is mislabeled puffer fish, calling it monkfish to evade import restrictions. Add to these problems the one of GMO fish, yet another franken food that food companies are developing and will probably refuse to label.

In fact, the FDA has apparently approved a GMO version of salmon which is altered to double it’s growth rate. There are many concerns about whether the fish will cause allergies or digestive problems, and if it’s not labeled (most GMO foods are not), you won’t know. We’ll all be potential guinea pigs for this otherwise healthy fish!

Speaking of GMO

I wrote a post on GMO (genetically modified organisms or foods) and the food companies refusal to disclose that information on their labels. Remember that GMOs are often modified with genes from other organisms, such as bacteria, insects or animals! As GMO foods are a related area of food industry deception, I thought I would re-list the most commonly GMO foods (see link below for complete post):

  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Sugar (cane and sugar beets)
  • Canola oil (from rapeseed)
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes

Unfortunately, the food industry spent millions (about 25 million) to defeat a proposition in California that would have improved labeling for GMOs, so for now, the food industry will continue to deceive us on a daily basis!

As I was writing this article, I came across another report by the Center for Science and Public Interest and their new report on deceptive labels and packaging. They included 9 more foods, mostly breakfast and snack foods, including fruit roll-ups, cereals with fruit and/or yogurt, yogurt with fruit, crackers with whole grains, water flavored with fruit, blueberry waffles, grape juice with fiber, and cereals with whole grains. In all of these new cases, the claims range from exaggerations to falsehoods! See the last link below for a slide show of these bogus foods.

What you can do

Something we can all do is to look at price vs. quantity as well as the ingredients listed (yes, the print is often small and hard to read because they don’t want you to really read them all)! If a large, 16-17-ounce bottle of olive oil claims to be EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and sells for only $4 or $5, it’s time to be suspicious.

To compare, I buy a small, 8.5 ounce bottle of the Lucini Estate Select EVOO for about $6 because it comes from Italy and the label indicates it’s made from 100% hand-picked olives from select estates. I also like the smaller bottle because it has less chance of oxidizing or going rancid (rancid oil is unhealthy to use or eat)! That oil has a mild, fruity flavor with a hint of pepperiness that is a sign of a good EVOO. I only use olive oil for dressing veggies or other foods, I never fry with it (high temperature will degrade it).

For GMO items, remember that many are used in processed and convenience foods/beverages so cut back on foods in boxes, bags, and similar packaging. Look for a lengthy ingredient list as a warning before you buy it (a handful of ingredients should be your limit, not 15 or 20)!

Focus on whole foods, such as lean meats, fish and seafood, nuts and seeds (toast your own, no salt needed), veggies and leafy greens (wash thoroughly), whole fruits and berries, olives, moderate diary (eggs, Greek yogurt and string cheese or cheese with holes for extra vitamin K2), and grains like brown/wild rice and quinoa.

For beverages, focus on coffee (no sugar), green or white tea (herbal is okay too), water, or water with fresh citrus juice. For oils, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is great for dressing salads or veggies!

Also, stay on top of stories like these and stop buying any brands that are shown to be cheating you! My hope is that many of these food companies will be fined or sued for their fraud so that it’s no longer profitable for them to cheat their customers!

As always, I can assist you in migrating toward healthier foods and drinks, one’s that will make a real difference in your health, energy and longevity. The right foods will help you lose weight or minimize weight gain plus boost energy and health! Another hint: If your energy crashes during the day, you’re eating the wrong foods! More whole, healthy foods will give you more even, sustained energy, not a roller coaster ride of rises and falls!

Feel free to ask a question or request a “Try a free session” while this post is on top (usually a week) and we can talk by phone. Use social media or e-mail icon to contact me.

Helpful links:








I found this info on 2/10/13 and it’s so important (unhealthy chemicals in food), I decided to add to this post:


About 10 days after I wrote the post, Dr. Oz did several segments on the issue of fake foods. His experts had some additional information. Here is the first video:


I saw this unreal food fraud problem on 3/12/13 and I decided  to add it (pig rectum sold as calamari):


I saw this BVO update and decided to add a link, as it covers additional food industry info:


An insightful article with slides from 6/27/13, showing all the foods in our stores that have banned ingredients in other countries:


This new article lists many of the doctored/fake and approved EVOOs:


© 2013 by Steve Carney/End Sickness Now


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