There is a new and growing danger with the food we eat. Criminal gangs are selling billions of dollars of fake food to supermarkets around the world. The food could be very dangerous. In the past few years, there have been some high-profile scandals. In Britain, tons of horse meat ended up in products that were labeled as beef. British police recently found a product that used cheaper peanut powder instead of almond flour. This could seriously harm or kill people with peanut allergies. In 2008, six babies died in China after gangs made and sold fake milk powder. Gangs can make a lot of money from fake food. It is also safer than selling drugs for the gangs because the penalties are lower.
The assistant director of Interpol, Michael Ellis, told the BBC that food crime is very similar to the drugs trade. He said: "In my experience, the patterns used by criminals involved in counterfeiting are very similar to those used in the dealing of drugs." He said police in 33 countries showed that food crime is a serious international problem. The police found children's candies that were dyed with a poisonous chemical, 430,000 litres of fake drinks and 22 tons of long-grain rice that was labeled as high-quality basmati rice. The British government said it was a difficult problem to tackle. It said that using technology might be the only way to beat the criminal gangs.