Fines for food fraud to be increased sharply

Lumps of meat in a containerFood producers who commit fraud are to face fines of up to 10% of their annual turnover, junior economic affairs minister Martijn van Dam told the AD at the weekend.

Currently, the maximum fine for fraud involving food is €20,000. ‘If they have to pay 10% of their turnover, they will really feel it,’ the minister told the paper.

The new fines will come into effect in June 2016 and represent the first stage in efforts to make sure food producers act more responsibly.

The minister also said he wanted to see a system introduced whereby consumers could scan a product and determine where all the ingredients came from and which firms were involved. ‘Then they can decide if they want to take it home with them,’ he said.

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.

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