` Police Seize 22 Tons of Counterfeit Tuscan Olive Oil - Olive Oil Times

Police Seize 22 Tons of Counterfeit Tuscan Olive Oil

Mar. 4, 2016
Ylenia Granitto

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About 22 tons of olive oil from Apulia and Greece fraud­u­lently sold as extra vir­gin olive oil with the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) Toscano have been seized and forty-seven millers, bot­tlers and traders in the provinces of Grosseto, Florence, Arezzo, Siena and Foggia are under inves­ti­ga­tion for com­mer­cial fraud.

The oper­a­tion was car­ried out by more than one hun­dred State Forestry Corps offi­cers, the Agrifood and Forestry Nucleus (NAF) of Rome and the Central Inspectorate for the pro­tec­tion of qual­ity and fraud pre­ven­tion of food prod­uct (ICQRF) of the ter­ri­to­r­ial offices of Tuscany and Umbria, with the assis­tance of the Special Nucleus for Technological Frauds of Financial Police in Rome.

We have now full con­fi­dence in the judi­ciary, for the ben­e­fit of hon­est and sound com­pa­nies in Tuscany.- Fabrizio Filippi, Consortium for IGP Toscana

The inves­ti­ga­tions began last year and were car­ried out through doc­u­men­tary searches, depo­si­tions of per­sons of inter­est, exam­i­na­tions and inter­ro­ga­tions of the National Agricultural Information System0. DNA analy­sis iden­ti­fied the ori­gin of the olive oil, the Grosseto pros­e­cu­tor, Raffaella Capasso, explained. Used only recently in agri-food inves­ti­ga­tions, the inves­tiga­tive method allows for the unequiv­o­cal char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of the dif­fer­ent vari­eties of olives which com­posed the olive oil.

The probe started with the exam­i­na­tion of activ­i­ties by an alleged fraud­ster who pur­chased Greek olive oil that was then sold as Italian or IGP Toscano. According to the pros­e­cu­tor, the crim­i­nal scheme was pos­si­ble because of the com­plic­ity of mill own­ers that cre­ated false records.

They prof­ited from the price of the IGP Toscano, which is higher than other Italian and EU olive oils, both within Italy and on for­eign mar­kets. During the checks, the offi­cers seized a large amount of com­puter equip­ment and doc­u­ments con­cern­ing the olive oil traceability.

Every scam relat­ing to food prod­ucts brought to light is a suc­cess that brings jus­tice to the rep­u­ta­tion of Made in Italy and pro­duc­ers who work with ded­i­ca­tion and hon­esty,” said the pres­i­dent of the Agriculture Committee of the Chamber of Deputies, Luca Sani. 

Just recently the Comagri (the Agriculture Committee) inter­vened on the issue of olive oil fraud with its opin­ion, which aims to strengthen the law enforce­ment tools used by pro­tec­tion bod­ies,” he added.

The IGP Toscano has a name and cred­i­bil­ity to defend at the national and inter­na­tional level,” said the pres­i­dent of the Consortium for the pro­tec­tion of Tuscan extra vir­gin olive oil, Fabrizio Filippi. The Consortium is always alert with regard to poten­tial irreg­u­lar­i­ties and we have now full con­fi­dence in the judi­ciary, for the ben­e­fit of hon­est and sound com­pa­nies in Tuscany.”


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