#China Fake Donkey Meat Scandal Shows Danger of Food Fraud
from science.time.com: Consumers in China are angry because their donkey meat doesn’t contain enough…donkey. Wal-Mart this week recalled “Five Spice” donkey meat sold at some outlets in China after tests revealed that the product contained the DNA of other animals. Donkey is a popular snack in parts of China—the country slaughtered 2.4 million of the animals in 2011–but cheap fox meat, which has been found in some of the donkey snacks, is decidedly not.
Wal-Mart, which will reimburse customers who bought the tainted meat, will likely take a hit in China, where it has plans to open more than 100 stores over the next few years. But the company—which is cooperating with the government to investigate its Chinese supplier—is hardly alone in selling meat that is actually something very different. Food fraud is a major challenge in China and around the world, as suppliers secretly substitute cheaper meats for more expensive and popular varieties—with consumers none the wiser. By some estimates, food fraud can cost the global food industry over $10 to $15 billion a year, and the U.K. Food Standards Agency has estimated that 10% of the food we buy off the shelf may be adulterated.