Food regulation and policing: innovative technology to close the regulatory gap in Australia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Internationally, food regulations are centred on human health and safety to prevent health crises. In Australia, regulatory control over the health and safety of humans is sound, however from a criminological perspective, control over fraudulent activities within food supply chains lack. Food fraud knows no geographical boundaries and has endless reach, therefore should be prioritised by policymakers, regulators and law enforcement. Australia’s reputation for high-quality food is important domestically, but also for establishing and maintaining trust in international food trade relationships, therefore lack of enforcement over food could damage ‘Brand Australia’. Given the food industry’s vested interest in maintaining this reputation, it must also play a role to protect it. This research reviews regulatory landscape against food fraud in Australia and then, questions whether coupling informal controls to support existing formal regulatory controls may be the most appropriate and holistic way forward to protect the industry and consumers. It tests a regulatory pluralism framework to determine whether it can logically organize informal, innovative responses to contribute cohesively alongside formal controls at various points along the supply chain to prevent food fraud. Finally, it considers available informal, innovative technologies to: enhance testing regimes; prevent product and label tampering; and trace food supply chains adopted internationally show positive progress in responding to increasingly sophisticated and organized global food fraud. The research concludes adopting a regulatory pluralism framework, coupling existing regulatory controls and innovative technology could enhance and strengthen Australia’s regulatory response to fraud within its food industry. © 2022, The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-136
Number of pages10
JournalJournal fuer Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit
Issue number2
Early online date2022
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


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