Russia's market filled with counterfeit meat

By Vladislav Vorotnikov

- Last updated on GMT

Food analyst Eugene Gerden: tinned meat firms add 'fat and lard' over beef and pork in products
Food analyst Eugene Gerden: tinned meat firms add 'fat and lard' over beef and pork in products

Related tags Milk Beef Pork

About 67% of all canned meat and large part of dairy production production at the Russian market is counterfeit, according to a study by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RUIE).

Determining that the actual composition of the product doesn’t match the composition of the label, as well as adhering to the state demands on safety and quality, over two-thirds of canned meat tested was found to be counterfeit.

The situation with counterfeit production is rather catastrophic, as we have to feed our children we more than 4 million tonnes of faked dairy products, while more than half of all canned meat in the country is counterfeit as well,​” said Andrei Lotsmanov, the deputy chairman of the RUIE’s Committee for technical regulation, standardization and conformity assessment.

He also explained that most of these products do not match the demand of the all-Union State Standard (GOST), which provides the criteria for the assessment of the quality and safety of the production for the health of consumers.

Producers replace 'expensive cuts with the cheapest'

“If the manufacturer wrote on the packaging or in a declaration that its product is made according to GOST, the goods must comply with all the requirements of GOST,” he added. “When it is written ‘canned stewed meat’ it should contain meat and spices, instead of the things that our producers are putting in this products today.​”

Previously, several Russian consumer protecting organizations revealed that in an effort to target a reduction in production spend, number of manufacturers of food products have started to replace the traditional ingredients with the cheapest ones. In particular, it is believed that 76% of all cheese at the country’s grocery shelves is produced with the use of some content of palm oil that is replacing the milk fat.

On October 1, Rosselkhoznadzor, referring to its own studies stated that 78.3% of cheese in the country is not made from milk. The similar results had Russian consumer protecting organization Russian Control, which stated that two-third of all cheese and dairy products in the country is counterfeit. The same situation was found with canned meat and sausages.

The producers of sausages and canned meat are trying to cut the production spends, replacing more expensive cuts with the cheapest​,” said Russian agricultural analyst Eugene Gerden. “Sausages manufacturers refrain from use of pork and beef in favor of poultry or fat and lard, without changing the production label. As the result, this production could be dangerous for health of consumers.

In terms of canned meat, there are fewer ways to produce counterfeit, but all of them are not less dangerous,​” he added. “Basically, it refers to the using of flavor intensifies and food additives that are not proved by GOST. This is possible because Russian market face the lack of control measures from the state sanitary bodies.​”

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