Organic feed fraud uncovered in Italy

Seven people, 5 owners or directors of a dozen companies and two employees of a control body, were arrested by Italian police, accused of having committed fraud by selling conventional products as organic products with false invoices and certification documents, IFOAM, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, reported. In total 2,500 tonnes of products were seized in the city of Verona. The bulk loads included field beans, soybeans and corn (for animal feed) and lesser amounts of wheat. According to IFOAM the majority of products came from Bulgaria and Romania. The fraud dates back to a period between 2007 and 2009. The inspection body has fired and reported to the authorities two employees involved as soon as its internal audits identified the criminal activity, according to the IFOAM statement. Press agency AFP reported that “police said 700,000 tons of illegal organic products valued at €220 million had been sold over several years across Italy and to Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands and Switzerland.”

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