Organic food body won’t name names, RTL threatens court action

Organic pears on a farm near Edam. Photo:

Dutch broadcaster RTL Nieuws says it will go to court in an effort to find out the names of farms and food companies which were allowed to sell their produce as organic, even though they had broken the rules.

Last month RTL said hundreds of products are being sold in Dutch shops as organic  which actually come from farms which have broken the rules on animal welfare, the use of medicines and the environment.

Produce from 220 farmers – including eggs, honey and dairy produce – is being labeled and sold as organic, even though it does not meet all the proper standards, RTL said.

The broadcaster based the claim on more than 1,500 inspection reports by monitoring body Skal.

Skal has since told RTL it will not publish the names of the affected food producers, saying that this could have a negative impact on the companies themselves.

The ‘way in which home and work life are intertwined and the increasingly radical views of the environmental groups named by them… are aspects which need to be taken into account,’ Skal said. ‘Making this information [names] public does not weigh more heavily.’

RTL said in a reaction that it would go to court in a renewed effort to have all the information made public.

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