CFIA's role in combatting food fraud
On this page
- What the CFIA does to combat food fraud
- Working with stakeholders and partners
- Everyone has a role to play
- Latest updates
- Videos, podcasts and articles
- Compliance and enforcement actions
What the CFIA does to combat food fraud
Food fraud can occur at any step in the food processing continuum (raw product, processing, packaging, labelling, retail, etc.) with both imported and domestic food products. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is committed to working with the food industry on ways to address this growing concern.
The CFIA protects consumers from food fraud by:
- conducting inspections at different levels of the food trade, including domestic manufacturers and importers
- analyzing food samples and verifies that the composition complies with regulations
- identifying and targeting areas of highest risk
- investigating complaints, including potential misrepresentation on food labels, restaurant menus or in advertisements
- working with:
- industry to encourage best practices such as supply chain controls
- Health Canada to address health and safety risks involved in food misrepresentation through the Food Policy for Canada
- other federal government departments, provincial governments and other countries when food fraud is identified across jurisdictions
- leveraging technology and innovation to help predict fraudulent practices
- promoting industry compliance and consumer awareness
- providing food labelling tools and resources, including the industry labelling tool and consumer labelling tool
- taking action when non-compliance is found
When food products are clearly misrepresented and not compliant with the regulatory requirements, the CFIA will take appropriate regulatory or enforcement actions. In some cases, the agency will recommend prosecution. This will depend on the severity of the violation, the history of compliance of the regulated party, and the intent of the act.
Working with stakeholders and partners
Addressing the issue of food fraud requires a collective effort and engagement by industry, government departments, the scientific community, consumers, academia, non-governmental organizations, and international partners.
The Government of Canada is committed to working with domestic and international stakeholders and partners to discover better ways to address food fraud. Examples of the work Canada is involved with include:
- participating in a working group with industry and academia to better understand and tackle food fraud
- sharing information with industry to better understand food fraud in Canada and look for solutions
- working with international partners to prevent, detect and disrupt food fraud
- partnering with academia to identify misrepresentation, discuss better ways to test for substitutions, and share information and scientific research
- looking at innovative solutions to combat food fraud, specifically new technologies
- raising awareness of food fraud and encouraging others to share their perspectives on the issue
Everyone has a role to play
- Industry's role in combatting food fraud
- How consumers are impacted by food fraud and what they can do to combat it
- What we heard report: Government of Canada consultation on boat-to-plate traceability for fish and seafood products
- Food Fraud Annual Report (2020 to 2021)
- Enhanced fish species substitution surveillance (2019 to 2020)
- Honey authenticity surveillance results (2019 to 2020)
- Enhanced honey authenticity surveillance (2018 to 2019)
Government of Canada continues to tackle food fraud
2022-05-12 | News release
2022-05-12 | Notice to industry
Government of Canada takes action on fish fraud
2021-03-24 | News release
Fish Substitution in the Canadian marketplace
2021-03-24 | Notice to industry
Government of Canada protects Canadians against food fraud in honey and other products
2020-12-07 | News release
Government of Canada prevents nearly 12,800 kg of adulterated honey from entering the Canadian market
2019-07-09 | News release
Authenticity of honey in the Canadian marketplace
2019-07-09 | Notice to industry
Videos, podcasts and articles
Fish is one of the most commonly reported misrepresented foods worldwide. To combat this issue, our experts use DNA testing to detect mislabelled fish.
The impact of honey fraud on beekeepers.
Honey is oh so sweet. But if sugars are added and not declared on the label, that is a form of food fraud.
Here's how the CFIA and the public can work together to combat food fraud.
CFIA takes food fraud seriously, and works to protect consumers against activities such as food adulteration, substitution and misrepresentation.
Compliance and enforcement actions
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