Fraud & Misrepresentation High in Wood Products Sold at Retail

San Francisco, CA, August 9, 2019-Fraud and misrepresentation among retail wood products is extraordinarily high, reports the scientific journal, Plos One in an article by Alex C. Wiedenhoeft, John Simeone, Amy Smith, Meaghan Parker-Forney, Richard Soares and Akiva Fishman.

According to the abstract of the article, “Fraud and misrepresentation in forest products supply chains is often associated with illegal logging, but the extent of fraud in the U.S. forest products market, and the availability of forensic expertise to detect it, is unknown. We used forensic wood anatomy to test 183 specimens from 73 consumer products acquired from major U.S. retailers, surveyed U.S. experts regarding their forensic wood anatomy capacity, and conducted a proficiency-testing program of those experts. 62% of tested products (45 of 73) had one or more type of fraudulent or misrepresented claim. Survey respondents reported a total capacity of 830 wood specimens per year, and participants’ identification accuracy ranged from 6% to 92%. Given the extent of fraud and misrepresentation, U.S. wood forensic wood anatomy capacity does not scale with the need for such expertise. We call for increased training in forensic wood anatomy and its broader application in forest products supply chains to eliminate fraud and combat illegal logging.”

The whole of the piece can be found here.