Imported meat from the Netherlands was sold under the “bio” label in Belgium even though it was not actually organic, according to reports by two Dutch food authorities.
The meat was processed by a company in the southern Dutch province of Brabant, which ships its products into Belgium and also Germany, according to RTBF.
The news comes from two reports by the Netherland’s organic food certifier Skal Biocontrole and the Dutch NVWA food authority, who conducted a study over the period from 2015 to 2018.
While organic food products in Belgium are subject to strict regulations that apply throughout the entire production chain, prepackaged imported items are not routinely checked.
“The product is inspected only when we touch it,” Alison Hamoir of Belgian organic certifier Certisys told the outlet. “If a packaged product arrives, we are not going to remove the packaging to inspect the product unless we have doubts,” she said.
The cabinet of the Walloon minister of agriculture said that it “bitterly regretted” learning that a new food labelling fraud had taken place, deferring the blame to authorities in the Netherlands.
“Since the meat comes from the Dutch Brabant, it is up to Dutch authorities” to ensure its origins, he told Belga, La Libre reports.
The Brussels Times