FSAfoodcrimeunit_406x250The United Kingdom’s National Food Crime Unit (NFCU) is doing a bit of outreach this year.   The 2-year old unit for busting food crimes is inviting people to fill out public surveys and then maybe consider filling out an intelligence report about “any suspicions or information about food crime/fraud…”

The NFCU is the police department of the Food Standards Agency (FSA)

In the UK, food crimes are said to involve dishonesty at any stage of production or supply of food, drink or animal feed.  It is seen as more complex than food safety mishaps.   Further food crimes are seriously harmful to consumers, businesses, and the general public.

Food Crime Confidential is a reporting facility where anyone with suspicions about food crime can report these safely and in confidence, over-the-phone or online. The facility is particularly targeted at those working in or around the UK food industry.

The NFCU says it  “would like to receive any information relating to suspected dishonesty involving food, drink or animal feed. In addition to identifying and being able to tackle specific instances of food crime, such information will help us learn more about the circumstances that make offending possible.”

Food crime in the UK is defined as “financially motivated dishonesty relating to food production or supply, which is either complex or results in serious detriment to consumers, businesses or the overall public.”

The National Food Crime Unit would like to hear from anyone with suspicions about:

  • food or drink that has potentially been adulterated or substituted
  • methods used in workplaces for producing, processing, storing, labelling or transporting food that appears illegal or substandard
  • companies or businesses that are selling items of food or drink that purport to be of a certain quality, suggest health benefits or claim to be from a specific place or region, but do not appear genuine or are suspected to be fake

More specifically, the crime unit is looking for information on “DNP,” an industrial chemical sold as a “fat burner” that is highly toxic and potentially deadly.   It is sold in capsules and powdered forms.

DNP is not illegal to own in the UK because it has industrial uses. However, selling it for human consumption is a criminal offense.  NFCU leads national operations against people who sell DNP for human consumption and work with international and law enforcement partners to bring them to justice.

“We would like to hear from you if you have information about people selling or importing DNP as a ‘fat burner’ or for any type of human consumption,” says NFCU.

Anyone with  suspicions or information about food crime/fraud in the UK is asked to forward this to the NFCU at foodcrime@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk by completing a standard intelligence report form.


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