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Parliamentary questions
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12 March 2015
Question for written answer E-004154-15
to the Commission
Rule 130
Mara Bizzotto (NI)

 Subject:  Production of fake Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano now exceeds that of original ‘Made in Italy’ products
 Answer in writing 

In the ‘Dossier on the Parmigiano Reggiano market, between crisis and opportunity’, published by Coldiretti [the Italian Farmers' Federation], it was announced that, for the first time in history, in 2014 the production of ‘fake’ Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano outstripped that of the original ‘made in Italy’ products, triggering a drastic fall in the value of exports. In fact, in 2014 more than 300 million kg of imitation Parmigiano and Grana was produced, compared with 295 million kg of original Italian products. This situation poses a serious threat to a production system which generates a turnover of EUR 4 billion and provides employment for hundreds of thousands of people.

The producers responsible for the uncontrolled spread of imitation products can be found on every continent, but primarily in the United States, where (for example) fake vegan Parmesan and Parmesan from the Amish community is sold and where the ‘Parmesan’ on sale has even won an award for the best American cheese. These figures demonstrate that the European policies designed to prevent food piracy have failed.

1. What action does the Commission intend to take to halt the imitation of these two outstanding ‘made in Italy’ foodstuffs?2. In view of the fact that, under the TTIP [Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership], the arrival of counterfeit Parmigiano and Grana on the shelves of European supermarkets will be perfectly legal, what future does the Commission envisage for outstanding ‘Made in Italy’ food products?

Original language of question: IT 
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