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HEALTHTECHNOLOGYBlockchain Takes On Fake Food and Drug Fraud

Maureen SantosMarch 19, 20191816 min

High demand but with little supplies has led to what we know as food and drug fraud.

Food and drug fraudulence have become common throughout the global food and drug industry. Products have been wrongly labeled giving misleading information. Others are adulterated [or modified to exactly look the same as the original ones. Also, products can be added or substituted with harmful additives for monetary advantage.

Ireland’s Food Safety Authority (FSA) conducted a series of tests on frozen beef patties. The frozen goods were procured from a number of supermarkets across the country. The agency checked to see if the meat had been changed or altered. They were shocked to find out that more than a third of the tested patties contained traces of DNA linked to horses.

Frozen hamburger patties (flickr/stu_spivack)

Following that revelation, the FSA authorities disclosed their findings to their UK equivalent since the country was also conducting business with the same supermarkets. Indications of horse DNA were also found in their meat.

To address the horsemeat crisis, the European Union formed the Food Fraud Network (FFN). The said task force was to facilitate better regulation of food manufacturing across Europe. The US  Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also took measures to counter food and drug fraud.

While procedures vary by region, general guidelines required food to be examined all through its different stages as it goes through supply chains. One of the several ways to prevent food fraud is food traceability. However, the problem with it is the loss of communication and unification.

Blockchain has the capability to address the issue and has started to extend its use-cases among other industries. It is provisioned with a plethora of uses and its distributed ledger extends a significant tool when tracking items across the supply chain.

After testing blockchain, the technology is anticipated to launch within the year. South Korea has been using blockchain to intercept erroneous certificates and certify the quality of its beef products.

In India, the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI), established a pharmaceutical supply chain management in the blockchain. Its objective is to completely trace drugs from the manufacturer to the consumers. To implement the program, the government commission worked with Oracle and India’s Apollo Hospitals chain.

The program was instituted to utilize blockchain technology to weed out fabricated drugs. Also, it guaranteed that consumers will receive genuine products.

generic drugs (Image courtesy of pxhere)

The program aims to eradicate all mechanisms of fake medical products which include pharmaceuticals. It will shift the hospital chain’s full inventory to a blockchain- powered system. In this way, fraudulence will be lessened and there will be better management of product quality and the allocation of pharmaceutical products. The Indian government is confident to acquire real-time perceptibility into all drugs manufactured in and exported from the nation.

India has been the biggest manufacturer of generic drugs. The country is also a leading player in fraudulent pharmaceutical production. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 10% of medical products in low-and-middle-income nations (including India), are poor-quality or counterfeited. India provides 40% of generic drugs taken in the US.

 

Maureen Santos

She lets everyone become aware of what is happening to our beloved planet Earth and its inhabitants. She can take you beyond the space and find out how neighbor planets are doing. Moreover, she would open your eyes to the things what makes the Earth suffer including the living species and allow you to decide what you can do to help save the planet and the future generation.

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