Spanish authorities seized 45 tons of illegal tuna this week as part of Europol’s OPSON VII sting operation. The seized tuna was adultured with a color-enhancing substance to make it passable for fresh fish, even though authorities said the quality of the animal meat would only make it suitable for canned products. “This can represent a serious risk to public health, taking into account that the modification of the initial color can mask spoilage, allowing the development of biological amines responsible for the so called scombroid syndrome in humans,” Europol said in a statement. Authorities are investigating four individuals in connection with the operation, which lasted four months and spanned 67 countries. “These are just a small sampling of the products seized as part of the latest OPSON investigation into the presence of counterfeit and substandard food and beverage products on the market in Europe and beyond,” Europol said. As further evidence of the rampant corruption within the global food industry, a separate operation carried out in June by Interpol seized 43 metric tons of illegal animal meat—such as that from slaughtered bears, elephants, crocodiles, whales, and zebras—at trading ports in 92 countries.
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