Major Crackdown On Spanish Food Fraud

Police Investigate Food Fraud

Guardia Civil investigate food fraud. Credit:

IS the food you buy as authentic as you think? Food fraud is big business, with unscrupulous criminals quick to cash in on unsuspecting customers.

The Guardia Civil, in a recent operation named Delta India, has executed a significant crackdown on crimes involving Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), Protected Geographical Indications (PGI), and Traditional Specialties Guaranteed (TSG) products.

As part of this operation, which took place in various establishments and transport vehicles, 17 individuals have been investigated for 19 crimes.

This has been a part of the 2,800 inspections carried out so far this year. The operation also reported 202 violations, highlighting the issue’s gravity.

Protecting Consumers And Producers

These crimes are primarily against the market and consumers, targeting industrial property and involving food fraud.

The Guardia Civil’s operation aims to safeguard intellectual and industrial property rights, ensuring consumers receive authentic and quality products.

This not only defends consumer rights but also supports farmers and producers, contributing to rural economies and preventing depopulation.

Spain, with its diverse cultural and historical background, boasts a large number of foods with unique qualities tied to their geographic origin or manufacturing process. This diversity places Spain among the European nations with the most quality designations and indications.

Highlighted Incidents

In Toledo, SEPRONA (Nature Protection Service) investigated a cooperative’s manager for producing and selling wine labelled with the ‘La Mancha’ designation without proper registration or authorization. Authorities seized 25,000 labels, 29,000 counter-labels, and 7,200 capsules featuring the DOP La Mancha symbol.

In Huelva, a police investigation into a criminal organization involved in the fraudulent sale of Iberian pork products began in February 2022.

This group was re-labelling and selling hams and shoulders under their own brand. The operation led to the investigation of eight people and the seizure of 52,176 kilos and 2,998 pieces of hams and shoulders.

In Alicante, a warehouse was found where legally purchased wine-based drinks were being modified. These drinks were modified with aromatic essences and sugar to mimic other alcoholic beverages like vermouth, muscatel, and mistela. Two people are under investigation, with 5,571 litres of various alcoholic beverages and 1,950 kilos of honey seized.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.