Think you can tell the difference between an authentic USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP) label and a fake? Maybe not — the image to the left is real — but it’s also identical to one USDA found in use recently by Chinese counterfeiters pushing conventional product on the public as organic.
USDA this week served notice of several fraudulent certificates currently afloat in the market.
Fraudulent organic certificates listing the following businesses are in use and have been reported to the NOP:
Eskinler inşaat Gıda San. ve Tic. Ltd. Sti
Fraudulent certifier: ICS Group, Inc. is not an accredited certifier, nor is it related
to the USDA-accredited certifier, International Certification Services, Inc.
Anima Mundi Herbals
Ndudike Import & Export
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 business or certifying agent was involved in illegal activity. But these certificates falsely represent agricultural products as certified organic under the USDA regulations, violating the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990.
If a business 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.
Any use of this certificate or other fraudulent documents to market, label, or sell non-organic agricultural products as organic can result in a civil penalty of up to $11,000 per violation.
Review these and other fraudulent organic certificates online here. At that same site you can also report any suspicious activity to the NOP Compliance and Enforcement team.