White Oak Screening
White oak from all over the world is imported into China and Vietnam where it is manufactured into products for the building sector such as flooring and furniture. Factories often rely on timber commodities markets for supply to meet time and price pressures - these markets result in mixing of white oak from around the world resulting in violation of the Lacey Act and EUTR.
In 2014 we started to screen products sold in the UK market as American white oak. Mystery shoppers purchased American white oak products which were then subsequently cut into pieces and tested using DNA barcoding techniques to identify species.
White oak screening is now widespread with government agencies, international NGOs and industry actively engaged in it. The approach is also applicable to similar species substitution fraud in species from temperate and tropical forests as well as plantations.