Food Fraud 20 Questions”: Document Fraud – Concerns and Countermeasures

Written by: John Spink

Primary Source:  Food Fraud Initiative

Business woman typing on keyboardThis is our second “Food Fraud 20 Questions” survey, which covers Document Fraud – Concerns and Countermeasures. This is a 5-10 minute online, confidential, anonymous survey. Please participate or forward it to others as you see fit.

Your involvement will help you by creating research and reports that help you reduce your “fraud opportunity.”

“Food Fraud ‘20 Questions’ Survey”

MSU’s Food Fraud Initiative (FFI) created the 20 Questions survey in response to requests for direct and rapid assessment of current activities and research needs.

The format is 20 questions that address a particular research question. It also includes several additional demographic questions that will allow for a meta-analysis across other surveys.


Document Fraud – Concerns and Countermeasures

Over the last year – and specifically starting in a previous Executive Education program – we have been asked more and more often about document fraud. Peanut Corporation of America continued to test their product at labs until they received a “pass” – so that was a legitimate document, yet fraudulent practice. There are other instances where the actual test result, itself, is fraudulently altered.

For food products, we accept a wide range of documents to confirm the identity and source of products we buy and sell. This research project begins with an analysis of:

  • Identifying the documents used in food product transactions
  • The documents that are known or suspected to be fraudulent
  • Best practices or countermeasures

Through this survey, we are formally introducing our newest Food Fraud Initiative colleague, Dr. Roy Fenoff. Roy is an Assistant Professor in the Criminal Justice Department at The Citadel (the military college of South Carolina). He has experience as a Board Certified Document Examiner and is a frequent expert witness in courts. Dr. Fenoff is an MSU alumnus who has been collaborating on a wide range of projects from co-authored articles to standards development activity. Roy has presented for the Food Fraud Initiative globally, including in South Korea, Thailand, and most recently in Malaysia.

Our “Food Fraud 20 Questions” survey will provide more insight into this emerging and timely area. Please participate and forward as you see fit. JWS.

NOTE: Future MSU FFI Courses and Programs

Before reviewing the survey, note our next education programs:

  • Executive Education – Food Fraud Business
    • 2/7/2017 1pm to 2/9/2017 Noon
    • 9/26/2017 1pm to 9/28/2017 Noon
  • Workshop – Food Fraud Vulnerability Assessment/ Initial Screening
    • 2/9/2017 1pm to 2/10/2017 Noon
    • 9/28/2017 1pm to 9/29/2017 Noon
  • Logistics: (Arrive in DTW by 10:30am and depart after 3pm)
  • Link:
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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.