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Fraud in organic foods


Mar 01, 2021

For the past two decades, organic sector growth has outpaced any other segment of the US food sector, and the United States is now the worlds largest market for organic foods. As with any large and complex supply chain, the risk of fraud in organic food may elevate as the market grows. Though it is difficult to measure the extent of fraud in the organic market, robust enforcement and policing by regulators and industry are necessary to maintain consumer confidence and to prevent fraudulent operations from realizing unfair economic rents. The role of US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the definition of organic fraud are first discussed followed by a review of the body of literature and a theoretical framework depicting the cost of fraud for consumers in organic markets. This chapter also summarizes strategies adopted by USDA to detect fraud and mitigate risk and concludes with a discussion of the future challenges and opportunities for those involved in this sector.

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