The Italian food sector is the most cloned in the world, and the scale of the thievery is becoming Alarming. In the US, Australia and New Zealand, only 2% of so-called Italian produce was actually from Italy. Parmigiano Reggiano or Prosciutto di Parma as well as "Californian Chianti" and San Marzano tomatoes passed off as originals. Eliminating counterfeiting could create 130,000 jobs in Italy.
FOOD PIRACY 'COSTS ITALY 60 BN EUROS A YEAR
(ANSA) - Rome, July 7, 2010
Food piracy costs Italy some 60 billion euros a year, Italian farmers said Wednesday in marking National Anti-Counterfeiting Day.
"Our food sector is the most cloned in the world and the scale of the thievery is becoming ever more worrying," said the CIA farming association.
CIA said bogus Italian goods were being increasingly sold on the Internet, citing examples like Parmigiano Reggiano or Prosciutto di Parma made in China, Australia and Argentina.
In the United States alone, it said, the production of fake Italian cheese had a turnover of some two billion euros, CIA said.
Another association, Coldiretti, said bogus parmesan "was just the tip of the iceberg, especially in the US where you also find clones of other prized cheeses such as Gorgonzola, Asiago, and Romano, as well as 'Californian Chianti' and San Marzano tomatoes passed off as originals".
In the US, Australia and New Zealand Coldiretti said, only 2% of so-called Italian produce was actually from Italy, with fake San Daniele ham and mortadella among the offenders.
One of the newer 'Italian' products to be found was a wine made in Germany called Prisecco, masquerading as Prosecco.
Turning to manufactured goods, the national industrial employers' federation Confindustria said counterfeited clothes, drugs, toys and other products cost Italy 18 billion euros a year.
"A tougher battle against counterfeiting could create 130,000 jobs in Italy," Confindustria chief Emma Marcegaglia said.
"We are faced with a virulent phenomenon which hits healthy firms and could also affect the health of citizens," she added.
The Italian pharmaceuticals association Federfarma said seven out of ten drugs sold on the Internet were clones but sales in Italian pharmacies were highly regulated and did not raise concern.
Among the moves suggested to discourage people from buying knock-offs of designer goods,
Interior Undersecretary Alfredo Mantovano said anyone caught with fake clothes or bags should be outed in the press.
"And the photos and articles should be at their expense, just to show people how clever they were," he said.
European Affairs Minister Andrea Ronchi said Italians who buy counterfeit goods were "doing a favour to organised crime" and called for greater cross-border cooperation to stamp out the trade.
As part of the initiatives across Italy to highlight the prevalence of non-kosher designer goods, a huge pile of bags, belts and other accessories was burned in a square in the centre of Florence.
National Anti-Counterfeiting Day is organised each year by the economy minister's department against fake goods along with the Italian foreign ministry and the premier's office.
Tags: Annotico Report, Italy