Italy: Almost 500 tons of produce illegally sold as organic

The added value provided by organic produce sometimes leads producers not to play by the rules; so much so that the authorities have had to intervene once again to restore the order.

Tax officers from Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto, Inspectors from Unità Investigativa Centrale dell'ICQRF (Fraud repression inspectorate for the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policy) and Carabinieri from the Reparto Carabinieri Tutela Agroalimentare di Messina have in fact followed  a preventive seizure order for over €120,000 issued against a cooperative that commercialised produce falsely labelled as organic for a total volume of 467 tons. 

It appears that the cooperatives falsified registers, transport documents and invoices to sell fennel, potatoes, celery, carrots and lemons as "organic" when in fact they were not.

The cooperative has been accused of criminal association for aggravated fraud. The authorities had the objective of safeguarding the health of consumers and avoiding the market being damaged by unfair competition practices.

People often talk about produce from abroad as the source of evil, criticising unfair competition. But sometimes we need to look at ourselves first.

Publication date: 2/28/2018

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