The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and Food Standards Agency on September 4, 2014, issued a final report evaluating U.K. food supply networks and containing recommendations for government action to address any weaknesses. The government commissioned the report from University of Belfast Professor Chris Elliott following a 2013 incident known as “Horsegate” in which various beef products were found to be adulterated with undeclared horse meat.
In response to the report’s eight major recommendations, the government has vowed to establish a Food Crime Unit by the end of 2014. Supported by a number of state, local, federal, and international law enforcement agencies, the Unit will reportedly focus its initial efforts on gathering intelligence about the nature and risks of food fraud. Other actions the government reportedly plans to implement go from setting up a network of food analytical laboratories to using standardized testing methodologies and creating a Group on Food Integrity and Food Crime to improve coordination across government departments. See DEFRA News Release, September 4, 2014.