Italian probe uncovers alleged food fraud in Catalan livestock with risks to public health

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Italian probe uncovers alleged fraud in Catalan livestock with risks to public health.

An investigation by an Italian body has found possible health risks in a ‘100 per cent buffalo milk’ produced in Catalonia after discovering traces of cow’s milk – claiming this could endanger people who are intolerant.

A report has been forwarded by the Italian Bell Buffalo Consortium to the Guardia Civil and a farmer is currently under investigation.

Daniel Barturen, lieutenant of Seprona, the force’s Nature Protection Service, said initial enquiries found labels which stated the mozzarella cheese produced by the farmer contained cow’s milk, but these had allegedly been removed before sale.

The farmer, who breeds both buffalo and cows, is accused of pulling off the labels “at origin”.

If the alleged fraud is proven, the defendant could face up to four years in prison for endangering people allergic to cow’s milk.

An allergy to cow’s milk and related dairy products affects one in 50 and is different to lactose intolerance, according to Better Health.

Symptoms include a red itchy rash or swelling of the lips, face and around the eyes, digestive problems, such as diarrhoea, and a hay fever-like reaction – including a runny or blocked nose.


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Written by

Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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