Supermarkets found to sell fake dried herbs and spices

The consumer group Which? has once again highlighted the way that supermarkets may not be giving customers the best deal, as it finds that the dried herbs and spices you buy aren’t all they’re supposed to be.
“25 per cent of 78 samples of dried oregano bought from a range of retailers contained ingredients other than oregano,” the website of the consumer group states, taking evidence from a “cutting-edge food fraud study – revealed exclusively to Which?”
The test took samples of oregano from stores across the UK which were then studied by Professor Elliott, Director of the Institute for Global Food Security, using a mass spectrometer. This machine identifies substances on an atomic level.
Professor Elliott made international news in recent years for his involvement in uncovering the horse meat scandal. He found that leaves from other plants were present in 25 per cent of the oregano samples. In some of these samples, there was up to 70 per cent non-oregano leaves, usually dried olive and myrtle leaves.
Which? have recently launched their Food Fraud Campaign, to try and cut down on this kind of dishonesty to customers.
“We think it’s unacceptable that you don’t know what you’re adding to your food,” Which? say on their website. “We want the government, food safety regulator, the Food Standards Agency and local authorities to stop food fraud.”
After the horse meat scandal affected big stores like Tesco in 2013, there have been improvements in the meat sector about letting customers know what is in their food, but this would appear to have not reached to other food types throughout the market.
Which? have launched a campaign that people can join to try and rectify the matter of stores either not knowing what is in the products that they sell, or being dishonest about it.
Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which? said: “It’s impossible for any shopper to tell, without the help of scientists, what herbs they’re actually buying. Retailers, producers and enforcement officers must step up checks to stamp out food fraud.”