Introducing the Food Fraud Reference Sheet

Written by: John Spink

Primary Source: Food Fraud Initiative

FF Reference Sheet Use the link below to access our new Food Fraud Reference Sheet. Over the years we have been asked for a single resource that covers definitions, articles, and videos, as well as educational opportunities. The content will be regularly updated with the latest information:

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From the Food Fraud Reference Sheet:

“FOOD FRAUD: The simple Food Fraud definition is: Intentional deception using food for economic gain. The comprehensive definition is that Food fraud is: a collective term used to encompass the deliberate and intentional substitution, addition (or dilution), tampering, or misrepresentation of food, food ingredients, or food packaging; or false or misleading statements made about a product, for economic gain. Food fraud is a broader term than either the economically motivated adulteration (EMA) defined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the more specific intellectual property rights focused concept of food counterfeiting. Food Crime is a related term pertaining to crimes. The motivation for Food Fraud is economic; the effect is often a public health threat and always a public health vulnerability. Food Fraud includes: tax avoidance smuggling, expiration date fraud, and stolen goods or cargo theft.”

The Food Fraud Reference Sheet also notes MSU’s range of programs and courses:


  • Executive Education and Short Courses: Offerings in Food Fraud and Quantifying Food Risk
    • NEXT:
      Food Fraud Basics, September 22-23, 2014
      Quantifying Food Risk, September 24-25, 2014
  • Food Fraud MOOC (Massive Open Online Course): Free, online, in Spring and Fall
    • NEXT: November 10 & 17, 2014
  • Graduate Course on Food Fraud (Anti‐Counterfeiting and Product Protection)
  • Graduate Certificate in Food Fraud Prevention: This includes four, 3‐credit courses: Anti‐Counterfeit and Product Protection (Food Fraud), Packaging for Food Safety, Food Protection and Defense, and Quantifying Food Risk


This is a public document so feel free to forward it or use it as you see fit. Check back for updates and also please let us know if you have additional questions you feel we should address or if other reports should be included. JWS.

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John Spink
Dr. Spink has been focused on product fraud since the Michigan State University’s Food Safety Program and the School of Packaging began research on the topic in 2006. This work expanded to the behavioral sciences and criminology and led to the establishment of the Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection Initiative in 2008. In 2009 the work shifted to the School of Criminal Justice where the Initiative evolved into a Program.