Cornucopia’s Take: Last year, Cornucopia publicized the identity of multi-billion dollar agribusinesses and their affiliates, located in Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, which have been connected to grain imports of questionable organic status.
The article from Organic-Market, below, credits Cornucopia with uncovering organic grain fraud and chronicles the ongoing problems related to imports originating from high-risk regions.
Shortly after Cornucopia published its findings, some of the same agribusinesses identified in our report curiously surrendered their organic certifications and engaged Control Union Certifications, a major multi-national certification body.
As reported by Organic-Market, the European Commission has now limited the authority of Control Union to certify organic products originating in Turkey, Russia, Moldova, Kazakhstan, and the United Arab Emirates.
The decision calls into question not only the certification activities of Control Union, but the practices of the operations in those countries that it certified.
Cornucopia has contended that imports from these countries cannot be trusted without verification. We have again called for the USDA to enhance oversight of imports presented for entry at U.S. ports and border crossings.
EU commission withdraws licence of international organic certifier
by Leo Frühschütz
The EU commissions has withdrawn the organic certification licence for five countries from the international certification body Control Union, as its bad performance facilitated organic fraud.
When organic food produce is imported in the EU from third party countries, a control body or authority must control and confirm the conformity of the product with the EU-Organic-Regulation. The control authorities have to be recognised by the EU commission; currently there are 57 certification bodies approved by the commission, including several that are operating in over 100 countries worldwide. The EU commission has now withdrawn the approval for Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from Control Union Certification (CUC), one of the largest of these international control authorities. Read Full Article »