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EU Commission criticises eco-control authority in Sri Lanka

by Leo Frühschütz (comments: 1)

The EU Commission scrutinized a report on maladministration at an eco-control authority in Sri Lanka.

The EU Commission has had an eco-control office in Sri Lanka checked and has come across massive grievances. These “undermine the credibility of the control system”, it says in the audit's report.

Which of the ten international control bodies operating in Sri Lanka were visited by the auditors of the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety is not included in the report. However, this would be of interest to organic importers and processors who rely on certificates from these inspection bodies.

Hardly any consequences drawn from suspicious cases

The auditors accompanied several inspections and came to the conclusion that the inspectors of the control authorities examined only superficially and documented incompletely. Where they found violations of organic criteria, there was no evidence that these abuses had been remedied. The auditors were fundamentally dissatisfied with the way the control bodies dealt with suspicious cases reported by EU member states. Twelve suspicious cases were reported by member states in 2016, none of which had been adequately investigated by the control authority. Consequences had hardly been drawn.

The fourteen-day-long visit took place in May 2017. The fact that the results have only just been published is due to the appropriate Sri Lankan control authority, that took its stand on the issue not before February 2018. In its statement, the authority tried to refute the accusations against the control authority it is supposed to supervise in detail. The auditors stuck to their criticism of most of the complaints. It is remarkable that the control body in question - like all control bodies approved by the EU - was audited by an accreditation body annually. According to the EU audit, their last report was "generally positive".




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Comment by Diane Bowen |

This article has a number of errors. This is about the EU authorities (DG Health and Food Safety auditing its own control system in DG-Agri for organic production in third countries. The "control authority" in this article is actually the authority for the EU member state where the international certification body that certifies in Sri Lanka is based. Sri Lanka government does not currently have an organic control system.


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