Three years after the horse meat scandal, food producers are still committing fraud on a wide scale, the consumers association Consumentenbond said on Tuesday.
The association looked into 150 products which are fraud sensitive and found in one in five cases, the food was not what it was supposed to be.
Manuka honey, lamb and extra virgin olive oil topped the list of fraudulent products. Half the samples of manuka honey tested by the association were problematic, as were 47% of the lamb products. In six of the 30 lamb products tested there was no lamb at all and a further eight were made up of different sorts of meat.
‘It is quite ridiculous that you can order lamb and get something which is not lamb,’ association director Bart Combée said in a statement.
‘Or you think you are buying oregano but in fact it is ground-up olive leaves…our research shows that there is a massive amount of work to be done by the sector and the government to keep fraudulent products off the shop shelves.’
Food producers who commit fraud have faced fines of up to 10% of their annual turnover since June this year.
The measure was introduced by the government in an effort to crack down on food fraud. The Netherlands has been hit by a number of food scandals in recent years involving meat and fish, including the large-scale mislabelling of horsemeat as beef.