Italy's State Audit Court reports on funds for organic farming

ROME, Italy, August 24, 2005 (AGI): Italy's State Audit Court has issued its report on the use of government funds towards organic farming. The report highlights discrepancies between current use of funds and strict EU regulations pertaining to resources allotted under the Research and Development chapter of funds.

The Court specifically mentions how regulations mandating that funds be issued to private parties under public supervision "are generically worded" so much so "as to require, as per recent legislative provisos, that the entire regulations outline be subject to review". The Court goes on to stress that despite expiring there has been no review, overhaul or extension to current regulations "leaving the old system in place as it stands, whose most crucial shortcoming is the lack of adequate sanctions against fraud or inappropriate funds management by private parties and, or, bodies tasked with product, systems or process certification".

The Court describes as "positive", however, that oversight boards "have voluntarily submitted to the EU's EN 45011 certification." As for the research and development projects they seem to have been hindered by the dual nature of the funding, partly public (7,746,853 euro 2001 -2003), partly private through business rebates under specific food safety headers. The Court found that rebates issued during 2003 had not been reinvested leaving a number of projects to bo funded soley through the state.

In addition the Court points out that scant funding was significantly impinged upon by the BSE emergency. "As for work in progress bodies tasked with oversight have failed to provide a clear understanding of progress or outcome, leading to a more than justified concern as to the enactment of appropriate supervision". The Court goes on to stress how "current management has failed to match supplies with appropriate market receptiveness, proof of which lies with the failure to follow through with proper consumer awareness campaigns". (AGI) .

http://www.agi.it/english/news.pl?doc=200508241655-1125-RT1-CRO-0-NF30&page=0&id=agionline-eng.bnessitaly

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