Your Phone — A Weapon Against Counterfeit Merch?

When it comes to fraudulent foodstuffs, no other product can match the rich history and big bucks of the fake olive oil game. The 4,400-year-old Ebla tablets include descriptions of royal inspectors scrutinizing the olive mills of ancient Syria on behalf of the king. The Romans employed an extensive system of labeled and sealed jars to prevent adulteration in the Mediterranean olive oil trade. Fast forward to 2017: Olive oil is still Europe’s most fraud-prone food. One expert estimates that as much as 80 percent of the extra-virgin olive oil sold in America is substandard — and a major driver of the Italian underworld’s $16 billion “agromafia” business. Beyond the financial impact, there’s also a significant health risk associated with any food product that isn’t exactly what it claims to be.