The USDA is warning organic distributors and processors to be aware of the circulation of a fraudulent organic certificate produced by an uncertified operation.
The certificate falsely represents agricultural products as certified organic under National Organic Program regulations and constitutes a violation of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990. Further investigation did not produce evidence that any product was sold in the United States using the fraudulent certificate.
The NOP was alerted of the certificate by the accredited organic certifier whose name is falsely attributed as the issuer.
"It's important the organic industry is aware of these sorts of attempts to deceive the organic system," said Ruihong Guo, associate deputy administrator of the National Organic Program. "We're continuing to remain vigilant to these attempts so organic standards are protected."
The fraudulent certificate contains the following identifying information:
-Operation name and location: Xi'an Bosheng Biological Technology Co., Ltd., Room 1104, 11F, Dongxing Building, Jiangong Road, Xi'an, China
-Certificate number: 6199ONDDDDz2ec(US)
-Products listed as certified:
Organic Hibiscus Extract Powder
Organic Jasmine Extract Powder
Organic Beet Root Extract Powder
-USDA Accredited Certifying Agent and location: Ecocert SA, L'Isle Jourdain, France (Note: Ecocert SA brought the fraudulent certificate to the attention of the NOP and is not responsible for its production)
-Certificate issue location and date: Northeim, Germany, Jan. 26, 2012 [sic]
Any use of the certificate or other fraudulent documents to market, label, or sell non-organic agricultural products as organic may result in a civil penalty of up to $11,000 per violation. Persons with information regarding the production or use of this or other fraudulent NOP certificates are asked to immediately contact Ruihong Guo, Associate Deputy Administrator, NOP, at (202) 720-3252 or at NOPCompliance@ams.usda.gov .
The NOP is responsible for ensuring the integrity of USDA organic agricultural products in the United States and throughout the world. Organic standards support sustainable agricultural practices minimize adverse impact on the environment and on humans.