A woman “cleanses” board’s chambers with olive oil, while authorities warn there is a growing concern over counterfeit food items, including oil.
Michigan’s Oakland County Sheriff’s Office reported it is investigating a county board staff member who was so distressed by the “negativity in the commissioners chambers” she decided to take matters into her own hands in a very strange way. The unnamed employee evidently coated all of the board member and audience seats in the auditorium and commitment room, along with the doorways and doorknobs with olive oil. According to the culprit, doing so is part of a spiritual ritual that also includes meditation and is meant to cleanse the rooms of negative energy that had been transferred from the discussions.
The sheriff’s office reported they took a sample of the substance to determine if it is truly olive oil or something else and they’re evaluating it.
Speaking of olive oil, authorities reported this month that organized crime mobs and gangs are targeting the luxury food market, selling counterfeit products. The fraud has included fake olive oil, which is nothing more than sunflower oil mixed with soya oil and chlorophyll, and an organized crime group trading in adulterated olive oil in Germany and Italy was dismantled in May. The bust led to the arrest of two dozen people and the seizing of 150,000 liters of fake olive oil estimated to have a commercial value of €1.2 million ($1.34 million). The operation was reportedly happening in an oil mill under unsanitary conditions.
Along with oil faux champagne, wine, and other spirits have been discovered, as well as caviar. Authorities have also discovered Parmesan cheese bulked out with wood pulp. A two-year investigation allowed authorities in West Sussex to seize £750,000 of adulterated saffron, which was ultimately traced back to a factory in Spain. Saffron has grown in popularity as of late for its health benefits, which include relief from insomnia, depression, pain, heartburn, and other common ailments.
It has also been reported that manuka honey, wagyu beef, and other products have also been infiltrated. Manuka honey has gained attention lately for its health and healing benefits, including promoting oral health, preventing ulcers, healing a sore throat, improving digestion and treating acne.
Last month, Scottish investigators helped bust a €200 million scam involving tuna fish caught for canning that were treated with chemicals before being sold as fresh. The fish were illegally treated with vegetable extracts containing a high concentration of nitrates to alter the color. The Food Crime and Incidents Unit at Food Standards Scotland led the probe and said that the operation represents a huge public health risk.
The organization also reported that “one in five British meat products tested positive for meat not on the label after inspectors found ham slices containing no ham, lamb with no lamb, and pork sausages packed with beef.”
Obviously, all of these counterfeit products not only rob unsuspecting consumers of the products they think they are buying, but they’re downright dangerous. U.S. consumers are urged to take precautions when making purchases, especially online and from foreign countries where regulation standards differ from those in the United States.