Working with the NFCU: Ed McDonald

Working with the NFCU: Ed McDonald


I’m Ed McDonald My title is Food Fraud Liaison Officer for the Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland. My job is to investigate food crime. Really that’s about ensuring that
food the public buy is safe. Every day I come in it’s something new. Recently we were investigating illegal deer poaching. Partnerships are always a big thing with me and we did one recently with the District Council and the Gangmaster and Labour Abuse Authority. That was into illegal commercial gathering of shellfish along the Northern Ireland coastline. We’re always looking for dangerous products that are being sold. Obviously diet pills are very popular nowadays and probably have been for a while but we had one specific diet pill we were
especially concerned with called DNP. The reason we were concerned is it’s
a toxic chemical. It’s not designed to be consumed by the public and it’s illegal to sell it for human consumption. It was a complex investigation, but what was satisfying was we
took it to the Crown Court. Which demonstrated how
serious we take these matters. The result was a successful prosecution. But to us it also sends out a clear message to those folks engaged in selling dangerous products. If we hear about it, we are going to investigate it. I think because I deal with a wide variety
of things, that’s the exciting part of it. I just never know quite what I’m
going to get. You know you’re making a difference and dealing with folks that have the same
passion I have for food safety, it’s very rewarding, really enjoyable.

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