When crime is profitable: food fraud and adulteration (1994)
The world of food and food products has always been characterised by manipulation and adulteration practices to make natural substances and food products eatable, preserving them for longer or shorter periods and increasing their taste and enjoyment. Other operations of manipulation and falsification of fake food, aimed at making profits by deceiving the food buyers, also have very ancient origins. Italy, since 1963, has set up a specialised structure to identify and prosecute illicit and criminal initiatives that may take place in the production and sale of food products, the Nucleo Antisofisticazioni e Sanità dei Carabinieri (NAS). The investigation aims to outline the Italian situation in the fight against adulteration, fraud and forgery in food production. In particular, the following were studied: the fight against illegal and criminal activities in the food sector, criminal proceedings initiated by the Judicial Authorities for offences connected with the production and sale of food products, criminal sentences against producers and traders convicted of such crimes, sentences that have become final, irrevocable judgements relating to offences other than the violations already analysed, convicted companies and the penalties and benefits granted. The study shows that the picture of adulteration, food fraud and falsification is generally complex and varied in Italy.
Lawful and unlawful food manipulation
The fight against illegal and criminal activities in the food sector
Criminal proceedings initiated by the Judicial Authority for offences related to the production and sale of foodstuffs
Criminal sentences against producers and traders convicted of “food fraud and adulteration” offences
Types of offences
Penalties and benefits granted