From Sanka to Sushi

“From Hank to Hendrix, I’ve always been with you,” Neil Young once sang. This would have been some time ago, and by “some time” I mean about the same amount of time from today as the “Hank to Hendrix” interval Neil was singing about back then. I wonder, can we use food to mark time …

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Publication – Selection of Strategic Authentication and Tracing Programs

Authentication is a key to Food Fraud prevention and a critical part of the “detect-deter-prevent” continuum. Selecting authentication countermeasures that contribute to prevention is often complex and challenging. This challenge was the subject of my chapter on “The Selection of Strategic Authentication and Tracing Programs ” in the book Counterfeit Medicines : Volume I. Policy, Economics, and …

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Hospitality

It’s approaching thirty years ago that I made my one and only trip to India. Negotiating what you should and should not imbibe was an almost daily affair in those days. We drank beer because the water was a hazard for the unadapted Western gut. The bottled water at the fine hotels was reputed to …

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Garrett Hardin

We’ll finish up “food ethics icons” month with the evil genius of the food/population debates. Everyone I know who ever met Garrett Hardin (1915-2003) spoke well of him. He was by all accounts a generous and open-minded man who welcomed philosophical inquiry and intellectual engagement. So don’t get me wrong when I call him “the …

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Paul and Anne Ehrlich

The theme for ‘food ethics icons’ month is the world hunger/population growth tangle. Our thinking has been bracketed by two opposing nostrums: On the one hand, agriculture is in a race with population growth, on the other hand, the problem is not agriculture but the distribution of food we already have. Both of these are …

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FFI Presentations at Shenzhen International Innovation Auditorium Conference and Chinese National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment

This is an advance copy of my January 19 and January 22 presentations at the Shenzhen International Innovation Auditorium Conference (hosted by the Shenzhen Municipal Government) and to the Chinese National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment (CFSA, Beijing). I will be using the same presentation for both groups. For the CFSA I will review …

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Thomas Malthus

If Amartya Sen deserves to be called a food ethics icon for dismantling the idea that the total amount of food produced provides a good index for understanding the ethics of hunger, we should probably look the source of that idea for our next entry for “food ethics icons month”. Is there anyone out there …

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Review: Food Fraud Application of GAO Report on Intellectual Property-Related Customs Exclusion Orders (19 US Code 1337)

The Food Industry could benefit from utilizing the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Exclusion Order rules. At minimum, it is critical that ALL companies register their brands with CBP. If you don’t register your brands then you’re missing out on the possible help of CBP. In November 2015 the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) …

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Amartya Sen

Amartya Kumar Sen was born in 1933 in a province of what is now Bangladesh. He won the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economics for a pretty diverse portfolio of work, most of which doesn’t concern us here. Let it just suffice that Sen was a major figure in shaking economists out of a dogmatic slumber—even …

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Final “Preventative Controls” Rulemaking-Related Questions for Economically Motivated Adulteration Questions – MSU FFI Public Submission for the “Request for Comments”

How and where should FDA address Economically Motivated Adulteration (EMA) or Food Fraud? Regardless of the US Congressional Research Service (CRS) and US Governmental Accountability Office (GAO) recommendations, is there an underlying question of whether FDA has to address Food Fraud/EMA at all? Since there are many global Food Fraud activities it is a very …

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Embarassing Behavior

I made one of my contributions to the food movement this week stopping by McDonald’s for my once-a-year Big Mac. This observation could provoke a tangent on the “once-a-year” theme and whether or not my need to point that out reflects some sort of guilt feelings about frequenting such an icon of the industrial food …

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The Movement

Last week I watched an old BBC documentary about Jacques-Louis David’s famous painting “The Death of Marat.” (Since this puts us in late 18th century France, it will help if you silently pronounce David as Dah-VEED and Marat as Mah-RAH throughout the rest of this blog.) Simon Schama was prattling on about how Marat was …

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Fun Size Redux

Nov. 2, 2014 So here it is just two days after Halloween night, and I’m thinking that both readers of the blog are probably sitting there munching on little tiny candy bars as they peruse the blog this Sunday. Of course there’s the chance that you aren’t reading the blog on it’s posting date, but …

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Reductionism

One of the things that I had to learn in order to become a certified Doctor of Philosophy in the discipline of epismetology was how to use the word “reductionism” in utterly confounding and totally obscure ways. Like, “Reductionism is a program of research dating back to the 17th century where the goal was to …

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Connectedness

I met Gyorgy Scrinis in Melbourne a couple of years ago. He was complaining more than a little bit about Michael Pollan’s appropriation of the word “nutritionism” and with it some of Scrinis’s key ideas in Pollan’s book In Defense of Food. At the time I met him, all I knew of Scrinis’s work was …

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Hedgehogs

“The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” Isaiah Berlin popularized this aphorism from Archilochus in his discussion of Tolstoy’s philosophy of history. I’m going to borrow from Berlin, but if you want to follow that tangent, you’ll have to fire up Google, because this is the Thornapple blog, where allusions …

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New Publication –An Introduction to Food Fraud, Including Translation and Interpretation to Russian, Korean, and Chinese Languages

We are pleased to announce our most recent publication  – in case you missed it in your copy – in Food Chemistry Journal. If you follow our blog you know that we have been collaborating with countries all-around the world, and especially with China, Korea, and Russia. During those trips we have been introducing Food …

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Have Some Pie

Back when my kids were really kids we used to play this dinky little cassette tape with a bunch of songs geared to Thanksgiving. You might think that this would be a good source for some food songs. Except when I think about it, most of those songs didn’t really say much about food. “We …

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Publication – Annual Survey Study of Product Counterfeiting by Michigan Residents Utilizing the MSU State of the State Survey: Implications for Food Fraud

There are important Law Enforcement priority-setting insights for Food Fraud in our recent “Annual  Survey Study of Product Counterfeiting by Michigan Residents Utilizing the MSU State of the State Survey.” The surveys were conducted in 2011, 2012, and 2013. We have submitted for funding the continuation of the research. The next step would be a …

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Presidential Task Force on Seafood Fraud – MSU FFI Public Comments for the “Request for Comments”

We seek opportunities to comment – especially early in the development stages – on government and agency activities. The main way the US government communicates its activities is through Federal Register notices. There was a recent notice of public meetings and a request for comments on Presidential Task Force on Combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated …

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Presentation: Food Fraud Vulnerability Assessment Foundation at the GFSI China Focus Day, Beijing & Korean Society for Food Science and Technology, Gwangju Korea

This is an advance copy of my Food Fraud Overview presentation  at the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) China Focus Day, Beijing which is being held August 26-27, 2014. This includes our latest research on how incident clustering fits into the evaluation of the fraud opportunity, which is the theoretical foundation for a Food Fraud …

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Introducing the Food Fraud 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: http ://foodfraud.msu.edu/food-fraud-reference-sheet/ From the Food Fraud Reference Sheet: “FOOD FRAUD: The simple …

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The Blue Food

The late comedian George Carlin used to do a routine in which he feigned deep puzzlement in asking his audience “Where’s the blue food?” Of course folks in Michigan know blue food, and I’m here to tell you that even if they are “late” and even if, as some are saying, it isn’t a particularly …

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Announcement – £500,000 EU Food Fraud Grant for Queen’s University Belfast and MSU’s Food Fraud Initiative

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Dr. John Spink, Director & Assistant Professor, Food Fraud Initiative, Michigan State University, spinkj@msu.edu , www.FoodFraud.msu.edu , Phone: (517) 381-4491 MSU’s Food Fraud Initiative Director Dr. John Spink is pleased to announce being included as a Co-Investigator on a research team that was awarded a £500,000 grant to tackle global Food …

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If ‘Disgruntled Employee’ Actions Are ‘Economically Motivated’ Is It Food Fraud and Does It Meet the FDA’s Definition of ‘Economically Motivated Adulteration”? No and No.

Does it matter? Aren’t they all just words? Not if there is a regulatory compliance issue. The US Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is still determining where and how they will address ‘Economically Motivated Adulteration’ (EMA) – and there are questions beyond just the text from the Federal Register or from FSMA (see previous blog …

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Summer Cyborg Mailbag

Maybe it’s time for another Thornapple blog complaining about the robots in our midst. As my many legions of irregular readers may have surmised, I have become somewhat reconciled to many robotic presences during the years that I’ve been writing the blog. Anyone who runs a website with an opportunity for “Comments” goes through a …

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Zucchini for Peace

I’m just back from the International Development Ethics Association meeting where I blew everyone away with my presentation on food security. Well, maybe I’m overstating it a bit, but people did seem to appreciate what I had to say. And come to think of it, what I had to say was not really all that …

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MSU FFI Public Comment on FDA’s “Proposed Rule” for FSMA “Intentional Adulteration”

Attached you will find the MSU Food Fraud Initiative’s Public Comment on FDA’s “Proposed Rule” for the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) section “Intentional Adulteration” (our submission will eventually be posted publically at www.Regulations.gov). See a PDF of our comments here. Our summary comments are consistent with our previous public statements, presentations, research findings, and …

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Michigan State University Announces a Mandarin Language Translation of the Food Fraud MOOC, Plus a 4th Regular Food Fraud MOOC (Massive Open Online Course)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Dr. John Spink, Director & Assistant Professor, Food Fraud Initiative, Michigan State University, spinkj@msu.edu , www.FoodFraud.msu.edu , Phone: (517) 381-4491 East Lansing, MI:   Registration is now open for two of Michigan State University’s free Food Fraud MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course).  The first is a Mandarin language course to be held on …

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Hokey Smoke, Bullwinkle!

Both of my regular readers probably know that our word “wiener” is derived from the German word for a sausage that comes from Vienna, and that a frankfurter is straightforwardly a sausage from Frankfort. We did this once before in the blog, if you missed it. But what about a few more food-related fun facts? …

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Among the World-Feeders

I spent a couple of days last week amongst folks who are diligently at work developing new crops. They are after new varieties that do well in the dry conditions farmers may experience during climate change, and they’re working on varieties that resist disease, too. And then there are the longstanding enemies: weeds and insect …

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Update: European Parliament Activity – Food Fraud Defined

The European Commission final report on Food Fraud was adopted back in January 2014.  A 58-0 committee vote supported the broad definition of Food Fraud and an emphasis on prevention.  The member states are beginning to implement countermeasures. EU Food Fraud Report (http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&reference=A7-2013-0434&language=EN ) (The European Union [EU] (http://europa.eu/about-eu/index_en.htm) is a partnership of 28 member states across …

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Food Enmity

As threatened a few weeks back I’m on a jag about food sovereignty. I decided that the best way to approach this topic would be to read up on the way that food showed up in the lives of history’s great sovereigns. I pulled my copy of Selected Lives by Plutarch down from the shelf …

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Right On, Man

Since Father’s Day happens to fall on a Sunday this year, I’m dedicating this edition of the Thornapple Blog to my own personal father. Don’t laugh. Lots of people have their own personal fathers, so why should it seem strange to be talking to them on Father’s Day? By chance my own personal father (who …

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Food Fraud Prevention Insights for Technology Innovation – Presentation at UK/FERA and EU/DG-SANCO Meetings

This is a copy of my presentation for June 11 at 11am at the FERA/JIFSAN symposium in York, UK: http://foodfraud.msu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/MSU-FFI-FERA-JIFSAN-2014.pdf.   Neil Marshall, Global Director of Quality & Food Safety for Coca-Cola and Vice-Chair of GFSI, is scheduled right after me and will present on “Food Fraud and the Industry Response.”  Markus Lipp of the US …

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USP’s Comments to FDA on ‘Intentional Adulteration’ and ‘Economically Motivated Adulteration’

US Pharmacopeia (USP) recommends the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) adopt a ‘hybrid’ framework to address combating Economically Motivated Adulteration (EMA) – a sub-category of Food Fraud – separate from preventative controls (Food Safety) or catastrophic events (Food Defense). USP, and their Food Chemicals Codex, is an important stakeholder in protecting the global food …

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Question Authority?

So here is one of those occasions where I couldn’t get everything off my chest last week so I just have to follow up with another blog entry on food sovereignty. We’ve raised this subject at least once some time back in the Thornapple blog, but maybe it’s time to come around again and think …

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Future Innovations in Food Fraud Prevention? – Review of the McKinsey Disruptive Technologies Report for 2013 to 2025

The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) published “Disruptive technologies : Advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy” (http://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/McKinsey/dotcom/Insights%20and%20pubs/MGI/Research/Technology%20and%20Innovation/Disruptive%20technologies/MGI_Disruptive_technologies_Full_report_May2013.ashx).  The innovations discussed have the opportunity to transform the food industry and contribute to Food Fraud prevention.  Disruptive innovation can spark or extinguish a company – let alone entire industries – in a flash.  While we …

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Robert’s Stories

A bunch of us were sitting around in a circle this week talking about food sovereignty. A lot of the talk was about legal rights and obligations, but one person had something different to say. He was a big man, at least fifty and maybe older. It’s often hard to tell with someone whose daily …

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