Durum wheat and legumes outlawed, RAC mega seizure

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One thousand tons of durum wheat in poor condition i.e. crammed into warehouses unknown to health authorities, over one ton of outlawed legumes. This is the balance of operations conducted by the Carabinieri’s Agrifood Department (RAC) on 1.4.19, in conjunction with the Avellino and Benevento ASLs and territorial Carabinieri.

Outlawed durum wheat and legumes, RAC investigation and mega seizure

The investigations were conducted on 12 enterprises active in the wholesale trade of grain products, whose registration and self-control systems revealed serious and unacceptable flaws. As a result of investigations and inspections RAC servicemen charged with numerous administrative offenses. As a result, penalties amounting to several thousand euros were imposed, as well as huge quantities of goods were seized:

  • over 937 tons of durum wheat in poor condition, in the province of Catania. The grains were crammed into rooms infested with rats and dead pigeons,
  • 100 tons of durum wheat, stored in an unregistered facility in the province of Benevento,
  • 1.25 tons of various legumes stored at a facility unknown to authorities in the province of Avellino.

Traceability and registration of facilities are the first requirement to safeguard safety. In Regulation (EC) No. 178/02, on which food law in Europe is based, as well as in the Hygiene Package, which expresses the appropriate discipline. (1) Such records are indeed a prerequisite so that authorities-in the event of verification or well-founded concern of nonconformity of food, feed and their ingredients with safety requirements-can trace the production and distribution chain. Upstream, to trace the source of criticality, and downstream to mitigate public health risks.

Carabinieri Command for the Protection of Agribusiness, the military garrison of legality in the supply chain

La
food safety
is one of the reflections of public safety, as well as a sign and measure of a country’s civilization. This is a crucial goal to be pursued by all players in the food supply chain in cooperation and synergy with the authorities. Keeping in mind that the strength of a chain is expressed by the strength of its weakest link, and that Italy has an invaluable reputation to protect. For history and culture but also for the economy, GDP and employment in the agricultural and food, tourism and accommodation sectors.

Thirteen years after enactment of the Hygiene Package (EC Reg. 852/04 et seq.)-which introduced the duty of registration or approval of any facility devoted to processing or storage of food and feed-it is almost hard to believe in situations of illegality such as those just intercepted by RACs. But the health authority, primarily responsible for https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/etichette/controlli-il-ruolo-dellamministrazione-sanitaria/, is not always able to counter such events. For lack of resources and also the military force that is indispensable, among other things, to intercept food fraud.

This reaffirms the primary value of a military force with judicial police powers, such as precisely the Carabinieri per la Tutela Agroalimentare. To oversee a vibrant and vital sector of the economy, therefore inevitably exposed to risks of criminal activity. With a widespread intervention, on an extremely fragmented supply chain, whose effectiveness is also linked to the direction of a Central Command capable of instantly translating signals into operational orders. (2)

Dario Dongo

Notes

(1) For further discussion, see the free ebook ‘
Food safety, mandatory rules and voluntary standards
‘,

(2) As pointed out in our free ebook ‘1169 Penalties. Reg. EU 1169/11, food news, controls and penalties‘ there are about 3 million operators in Italy who are subject to the application of the aforementioned discipline

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Dario Dongo, lawyer and journalist, PhD in international food law, founder of WIISE (FARE - GIFT - Food Times) and Égalité.