If an item is popular, you can bet there will be bootleg version of it circulating through the supply chain sooner or later. We've spoken in great detail about the importance of regulating the food and pharmaceutical supply chains, as any defective or counterfeit products in those industries could cause widespread illness.
That's of course because both of those goods are meant to be ingested. On the other hand, for example, if a retailer receives a shipment of phony external hard drives, the harm done is mostly financial. Some items aren't meant to be ingested at all, and theoretically shouldn't be a health concern if counterfeit versions make it into the market, but not all products are used for their intended purpose.
One of these items is herbal incense. A press release from Code Black Herbal Incense explained that there is a growing number of counterfeit and potentially harmful variations finding their way into the supply chain.
"The bona fide herbal incense industry is heavily regulated to ensure that everyone can enjoy its many benefits safely," the unnamed owner of Code Black Incense said in a statement. "However, as with any other industry there is a black market putting customers in danger every day. Thankfully, there is a lot consumers can do to be sure that the incense they are buying genuine, safe, and legal."
The company explained that consumers should make sure the packaging hasn't been tampered with, and is sealed shut. Counterfeit labeling on these packaging will have a low resolution and may appear blurry. Additionally, the incense itself should be dry and not contain any stems. If the scent is significantly harsher than expected, it's probably a fake.