PARIS – It reads like the world's worst menu.
Italian olives painted with copper sulphate solution, Sudanese sugar tainted with fertilizer, and hundreds of thousands of liters (gallons) of bogus alcoholic drinks top Interpol's annual tally of toxic and counterfeit food seized by police agencies across the world.
A statement Wednesday by Interpol said that a record 10,000 tonnes (roughly 11,000 U.S. tons) has been recovered across 57 countries.
Although some busts have been previously reported, the haul of bogus diet supplements, adulterated honey and formalin-drenched chicken guts makes for stomach-churning reading.
European law-enforcement agency Europol, which coordinated the seizures along with Interpol over the past three months, says counterfeit food is "a multi-billion criminal industry which can pose serious potential health risks to unsuspecting customers."