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March 4, 2022

Underwriters Laboratories and Michigan State University Formalize Agreement to Work Together Against Counterfeits

Most older adults who purchase counterfeit products buy them unknowingly. But that’s far less true of young adults — a much greater percentage of consumers under 30 years old knowingly buy fake products, market research indicates.

Why buy fakes? Underwriters Laboratories Inc. and the Michigan State University Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection (A-CAPP) are joining forces to answer this and myriad other questions related to counterfeit products. The two organizations finalized a general memorandum of understanding (MOU) in February 2022 to foster academic cooperation in anti-counterfeiting education, outreach, and research.

The agreement calls for sharing knowledge about health and safety issues associated with product counterfeiting as well as the development of related educational and research projects.

“Michigan State University’s A-CAPP Center and Underwriters Laboratories share a common goal — to make the world safer from the negative effects of counterfeit products,” said Monica Mena, director of education and outreach at Underwriters Laboratories. “We are working together to gather critical data that will inform effective approaches to reducing the health and safety consequences of this crime.”

Under the terms of the MOU, Underwriters Laboratories and A-CAPP will jointly conduct a global survey to gather data and information on the public’s attitude toward counterfeit products. Through the survey, the organizations will develop a mechanism to identify, track, and report upon consumer attitudes and counterfeit consumption trends.

“MSU and Underwriters Laboratories have a joint desire to use research to inform anti-counterfeiting policy and practice, and initiating our partnership with the consumer survey highlights this focus,” said Jeff Rojek, director of the A-CAPP Center.