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Fake saffron discovery in West Sussex sparks international investigation

The discovery of fake saffron being sold in West Sussex has resulted in an international investigation and the seizure of almost 90kg of the product from a factory in Spain.



Saffron laced with other lower quality ingredients was found in outlets in the county by West Sussex Trading Standards service.

Officers carried out testing on ten samples of the product and seven were adulterated with cheaper plant fibres.

Many of the samples originated from Spain so Trading Standards reported the findings to the Food Standards Agency who then alerted the Spanish Authorities.

Almost 90kg of adulterated saffron worth between £600,000 and £750,000 was seized from a clandestine factory in Alicante, Spain. Two individuals were arrested.

Genuine saffron sells for £6 to £8 per gram.

The method of adulteration usually consists of mixing the pure saffron fibres with other cheaper fibres.

Peter Aston, Trading Standards Team Manager, said:

“Genuine saffron isan expensive product so the potential to make money from adulteration is high.

“This is an excellent result for our Trading Standards service which has led to an international investigation and the discovery of thousands of pounds worth of adulterated saffron.”

Jacquie Russell, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities, said:

“Deceiving customers through the sale of adulterated saffron is a serious offence, hurting both innocent buyers and legitimate businesses.

“I would like to thank our Trading Standards team for their hard work which resulted in this international investigation.”

Anyone who thinks they have been a victim of an unfair trading practice, should contact Trading Standards via Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06 or online via


‘End the Rail Rip-Off’ says Crawley Council Leader

The call comes just as prices have been announced to increase for another year.



Cllr Peter Lamb who is also the Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Crawley has called for an end to the ‘Rail Rip-Off’ after it was announced that rail fares are to increase for another year.

Cllr Lamb says that the price of a season ticket between Three Bridges and central London has risen by over £1,100 since the Conservatives returned to Government while at the same time average real wages have fallen.

His call comes as more commuters question the quality of the services they are enduring with more and more taking to social media to complain of the lack of facilities and delays.

Cllr Peter Lamb, said:

“Like many residents, I depend upon the rail network to get to work. I know the frustration of being asked to pay out more and more every year for a service that just keeps getting worse. It’s time we had MPs who were willing to end the Rail Rip-Off and give the public back control over the nation’s railways.“

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