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Illegal Raspberries

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Illegal Raspberries

by Jenise » Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:00 pm

Here's a curious news report about illegal chinese fruit being rerouted/repackaged to make it acceptable for import where it otherwise would not be (history of norovirus). Applicable, in this case, to Canada, but of course it could happen anywhere.

In January, 2017, Chilean Customs inspectors acted on a tip from a whistle-blower: The country’s prized crop of raspberries was under threat.
Inspectors raided the offices of Frutti di Bosco, a little-known fruit trading company on the second floor of a tower block in downtown Santiago.
The files, company data and sales records they seized revealed a food trading racket that spanned three continents.
At its heart was a fraud centred on raspberries. Low-cost frozen berries grown in China were shipped to a packing plant in central Chile. Hundreds of tons of fruit were repackaged and rebranded by Frutti di Bosco as premium Chilean-grown organics, then shipped to consumers in Canadian cities including Vancouver and Montreal, according to documents prepared by Chilean Customs as part of its investigation. The agency calculated that at least US$12-million worth of mislabelled raspberries were sent to Canada between 2014 and 2016.
Much of that product, the documents showed, came from Harbin Gaotai Food Co. Ltd., a Chinese supplier. Canadian health authorities later linked berries from Harbin Gaotai to a 2017 norovirus outbreak in Quebec that sickened hundreds of people. Canadian authorities issued a recall on Harbin Gaotai berries coming directly to Canada from China dating back to July, 2016.
What they didn’t realize is that Harbin Gaotai raspberries had also entered Canada through a backdoor during that period in the form of falsely labelled fruit shipped from Chile by Frutti di Bosco.
The scheme, pieced together for the first time by Reuters, lays bare the ease with which mislabelled, potentially risky products can be slipped past the world’s health and customs agencies, even as authorities across the globe scramble to ensure foods entering their countries are free of a new scourge – COVID-19.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Illegal Raspberries

by Jeff Grossman » Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:53 pm

This has been happening with olive oil and honey for years. In the case of olive oil, it's the old shell game: put the Moroccan oil on a ship, park the ship in some obscure Italian port, pour the oil from one jar into another, and presto! Italian Olive Oil.

As to honey, it's even more bizarre: authorities are able to trace honey due to the pollen, so the bootleggers run the honey through a fine mesh to remove the pollen; now, the authorities are stopping honey that is "too clean" so the cheats have to make blends.
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Re: Illegal Raspberries

by Jenise » Sat Oct 10, 2020 10:38 am

I know there's been a problem with counterfeit Italian olive oil. But was totally surprised to read about this happening with a particularly fragile, fresh product like raspberries.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Illegal Raspberries

by Jeff Grossman » Sat Oct 10, 2020 9:12 pm

Not. The product is frozen.
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Re: Illegal Raspberries

by Jenise » Sun Oct 11, 2020 1:26 pm

Makes more sense, then.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov

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