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Someone is using our label on product that is not from us

fraud label

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#1 Njaquino

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 09:52 PM

Good Afternoon Everyone,

 

It is my first time coming across this type of incident. Someone is using our label on product that is not from us. They are photocopying our label and placing it on some other product. Stores don't want to buy from us because the fraud is selling it for significantly cheaper. What can I do? We are trying to pin point the person but we do not have any leads yet. 

 

Kind Regards,

N. A



#2 Hank Major

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 10:06 PM

I've heard that large firms put subtle line art in their label designs that do two things: make it obvious when a label has been photocopied, and act as a sort of lot number system. They send a slightly different version of their label to each downstream customer, so that some tracking can be done on the counterfeits. 

 

Edit: Also, in that situation I would do a total label redesign, with more colors, curved text and shading. Make it tougher for the photocopy machine.


Edited by Hank Major, 16 October 2019 - 10:09 PM.


#3 fepuhe

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 02:35 AM

several cases have occurred here, and the price player is a large company that has a large capital to buy goods on the market, and replace them with their company labels, sell them at lower prices. The aim is to strengthen their products in the market, making consumers forget about their competitors. Not trying to appoint the culprit, but it can start from your competitors.



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#4 pHruit

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 01:05 PM

Can you not ask the FDA to look into this?

They should (hopefully?) be able to force businesses to trace the product through the supply chain back to the actual physical source.

US regs isn't my area of expertise, but I do recall seeing various references to "misbranding" within the Code of Federal Regs, and indeed I'd have thought the following would be applicable, from 21USC343:

A food shall be deemed to be misbranded... (e) If in package form unless it bears a label containing (1) the name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer or distributor....

 

If they are copying your labels verbatim then they presumably are noncompliant with this requirement, as your business is not the manufacturer/packer/distributor?

There may be other legal options open to you as aside from food regs, it is presumably a fairly clear-cut case of fraud? Could be worth having a chat with a lawyer, if you haven't yet done so.

 



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#5 Watanka

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 03:09 PM

Gather samples.  Find out who they are.  Talk to your attorney.  Have your attorney notify FDA in writing - certified letter - to someone in the chain of command who is tasked with this sort of thing and as high up as possible.  If they do not take action send a copy to your local congressman.  If interstate commerce is going on copy the FBI and FDA with your note to your Congressman spelling out the fraud, interstate commerce activity and public safety risk.  If the perpetrator feels free to fraudulently use your label, what is in the package?  Dog food, undeclared allergens and chicken bones?  Aggressively protect your reputation.  No one is going to do that for you.



#6 Simon

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 03:29 PM

I moved this topic to the "Food Fraud" section because that's what it is isn't it?


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#7 Watanka

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 04:29 PM

Information points that way.  This could happen to any of us.  Thanks to IFSQN we all have ta better opportunity to be prepared.



#8 Njaquino

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 06:52 PM

Gather samples.  Find out who they are.  Talk to your attorney.  Have your attorney notify FDA in writing - certified letter - to someone in the chain of command who is tasked with this sort of thing and as high up as possible.  If they do not take action send a copy to your local congressman.  If interstate commerce is going on copy the FBI and FDA with your note to your Congressman spelling out the fraud, interstate commerce activity and public safety risk.  If the perpetrator feels free to fraudulently use your label, what is in the package?  Dog food, undeclared allergens and chicken bones?  Aggressively protect your reputation.  No one is going to do that for you.

 

We have asked out sales rep to begin gather samples for me. I asked for pictures of the photocopied labels and product. I will talk to our lawyer. 



#9 Njaquino

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 06:53 PM

I moved this topic to the "Food Fraud" section because that's what it is isn't it?

Thanks I wasn't too sure what to put in the section. 



#10 QAGB

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 08:05 PM

This situation exactly is the reason why I loathed customer questionnaires/requests for information where customers wanted a copy of our label. Why exactly does anyone need a copy of their supplier's label? The first thing I always thought was fraud, and I said NO. If I got extreme pushback, they got a water-marked, off-color weird version of the label.

 

I've been a customer myself to over 200 suppliers, and I never once had a need to have their brand label on file. I never dealt with an issue and thought - this would have been SOOOO much easier if I had XYZ label in my file.

 

Definitely involve your legal team on this situation - as you could run into issues with bad product out there with your label that isn't your own. 

 

Also - you might want to check internally. Who has access to your labels and label files? If this is readily available to many people, you might have a serious internal issue as well. Good luck to you, and I really hope you catch the culprit. Keep us posted!


Edited by QAGB, 17 October 2019 - 08:06 PM.


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#11 roytbahala

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Posted 04 November 2019 - 05:05 AM

This is a criminal act. Resort to legal remedies are available. But it is important to identify first the culprit and proceed to legal action.



#12 Njaquino

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Posted 04 March 2020 - 07:01 PM

Hey Everyone, 

 

Update we have found the culprit. We have gotten samples and are talking with an attorney. I am having them send a letter to FDA to see if they can do something. 



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#13 QAGB

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Posted 04 March 2020 - 07:12 PM

Hey Everyone, 

 

Update we have found the culprit. We have gotten samples and are talking with an attorney. I am having them send a letter to FDA to see if they can do something. 

 

Thanks for the update! Would love to hear the outcome once you guys have worked through this issue.







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