Whisky. Wine. Vodka. Coffee. Olives. Sugar. Milk. Parmesan. Salmon. The list of counterfeit foods and drinks to be wary of is long—and growing.
A four-month food sting operation, called Operation Opson V, by Interpol across 57 countries has finally wrapped up. The sum total of the cache includes more than 10,000 tons of various fake food and a million liters of counterfeit drinks (enough to fill a swimming pool), making it the largest food sting ever conducted. Though the size of the haul is impressive, though, the really alarming part is just how many different types of foods and drinks were involved—and how many ways counterfeiters have found to forge them.
We previously covered Italy’s olive sting (which was part of Opson) where Italian police seized 85,000 tons of olives that were painted green in an effort to unload them. But over the course of Opson, investigators also found sugar cut with fertilizers, peanuts sold as pine nuts, illegal monkey meat, and huge numbers of fake labels.