Mucci Farms

S2E4: Gerald Chan on Food Crime by Glen Jameson

We've got Gerald Chan from Stockwoods LLP this episode and we're talking about food crime. Gerald spoke about inspections and investigations at The Future of Food Law & Policy in Canada last fall in Halifax, specifically about R. v. Mucci Farms and R. v. Cericola Farms. In a broader sense, food fraud is in the news because we're discovering that the scope of food fraud globally is larger than we had imagined - both in frequency and in value. In the rest of the world, we’re seeing scandals related to counterfeit winesfalsely labeled fish, and fake rice or fake American ginseng.  The Tampa Bay Times’ Laura Reiley wrote a series called Farm to Fable (great name, great content) – which has led to the Florida State Attorney General looking into food fraud issues, the Florida Department of agriculture changing entire programs of oversight and increased investigations and training. In the UK, the Food Standards Agency has established a National Food Crimes Unit, the International Food Fraud Network is based out of the University of Manchester, and Dr. Chris Elliott, who I mentioned, is based out of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast, and he’s doing some great work with government and in research on this topic.

Domestically, Dalhousie University’s resident food business expert Sylvain Charlebois is releasing a study on food fraud on February 21, so keep an eye out for that.

But, I’ll leave it to Gerald to take it from here.

CFIA Gets Serious About Prosecuting Food Fraud by Glen Jameson

In July 2014, a three-year investigation by the CFIA into the operations of Mucci International Marketing Inc. and Mucci Pac Ltd. found that $1 Million worth of tomatoes labeled as a “Product of Canada” were, in fact, imported from Mexico. The investigation resulted in charges being laid against these companies as well as two Mucci Farms executives and on June 6, 2016, CFIA issued massive penalties against Mucci Farms: the corporations were convicted and fined $1.2 million and sentenced to three years of probation and the executives were fined $150,000 each and sentenced to three months of probation.  With victim fine surcharges, the total fine meted out could eclipse $1.9 million.

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