Professor of Government and Public Affairs, Virginia Commonwealth University
- Focusing on the nature of the fraudulent activities within particular markets, rather than only on who the criminals are, provides a more coherent, comprehensive approach to intervening with food fraud.
- Redefining the responses, actions, and preferences of market actors to external pressures related to ethical practice can reduce choices made by those who engage in fraudulent behavior.
- State and non-state responses to food fraud should look at it as commercial enterprise crime and be preventive and proactive, which will help restore integrity to the food system.
In the article, “In Pursuit of Food System Integrity: The Situational Prevention of Food Fraud Enterprise,” Albanese and his coauthors consider issues related to food fraud—making money illegally through deception (e.g., adulterating food products). Food fraud is associated with a range of policy responses, including those related to the safety and security of food, as well as standards associated with food production, with each implying different forms of regulatory action. Underpinning these is the need to prevent food fraud, food crime, and food harms, and to improve the integrity of the food system. The authors present a conceptual and analytical framework for understanding food fraud, including the material and social circumstances and conditions that shape offending behavior. They apply the framework to the case of adulterated olive oil, drawing on research into the Spanish market for olive oil and three cases of olive oil fraud. They conclude with suggestions to prevent and reduce these undesired entrepreneurial behaviors, stressing the need to act proactively and preventatively rather than reactively.