From horsemeat in beef burgers to the mislabeling of seafood, it doesn’t take much to know that unfortunately, not all our food is what it seems.From horsemeat in beef burgers to the mislabeling of seafood, it doesn’t take much to know that unfortunately, not all our food is what it seems. ?So, if you really want to stay on top of things, take a look at the USP Food Fraud Database. The United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) is a scientific nonprofit organization that makes its living by establishing industry standards for pharmaceuticals and foods. The Food Fraud Database actually began in 2010, but in January of this year they upgraded significantly, adding data from scholarly journals and media. The list now includes about 2000 foods. What are some of the most common sources of food fraudulence? According to Markus Lipp, senior director of food standards for US Pharmacopeia its spices, milk and vegetable oils. Price is the main reason for deception. ?saffron.jpg??Saffron, for example, is the worlds’ most expensive spice and the USP database lists 109 phony saffron substitutes, including marigold flowers, corn silk, gypsum, chalk and strands of cotton or plastic. Here in the US, Lipp notes that juices, including apple and pomegranate are particularly vulnerable to fraud, and they can be faked entirely with water, sugar and citric acid. The USP is hoping that everyone on the food supply chain will work together to share information and maintain vigilance. If you want to report any instances of food fraud you can do so at their database at USP dot ORG.