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US: Watch out for fraudulent organic certificatesThe USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP) is alerting the organic trade about the presence of fraudulent organic certificates. Fraudulent organic certificates listing the following businesses are in use and have been reported to the NOP:
- Chia-Brand LLC
- Mult Blindagem LTDA (Certificate No. 53540-12)
- Worldwide Wholesale Warehouse, Inc. (Certificate No. 51368-13)
- Supattra Import & Export Co., LTD
- Multi Purpose Trade Marketing PTY LTD
- Desert Harvest, Inc.
- Yunnan Dianhong Group Co. Ltd.
These certificates falsely represent agricultural products as certified organic under the USDA organic regulations, violating the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990. Fraudulent certificates may have been created and used without the knowledge of the operator or the certifying agent named in the certificate.
The posting of fraudulent certificates does not necessarily mean that the named operator or certifying agent was involved in illegal activity. If an operation named on a fraudulent certificate is certified, its certifying agent, identified in the list of certified operations, can provide additional information and verification to the organic trade. Organic handlers should continue to review certificates carefully, validate with their certifying agents where needed, and send any suspicious certificates to the NOP Compliance and Enforcement Division.
Any use of these certificates or other fraudulent documents to market, label, or sell non-organic products as organic can result in a civil penalty of up to $11,000 per violation. Persons with information regarding the production or use of this or other fraudulent NOP certificates are asked to send information to the NOP Compliance and Enforcement Division.
Publication date: 4/20/2017