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) .