Italian record illegal agchem haul
Italian police have seized an EU record 120 tonnes of counterfeit pesticides, the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) says. The force uncovered organised criminal gangs in a pesticide black market across the country. “The success of the Italian anti-counterfeit unit is an excellent achievement, but could be replicated almost anywhere in Europe,” the Association says. It calls for more resources to combat the trade in the EU. The ECPA launched its pan-European anti-counterfeit operation in 2006 ( Agrow No 507, p 11). It notes the success of its “hotline” for tip offs. The ECPA says that counterfeit substances are “usually made in east Asia” but distribution within Europe is complex. “Buying pesticides on the black market is dangerous for farmers and consumers … [they] have not been tested for human health impact and can contain unknown toxic substances,” it warns.