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back to article Euro fraud cops crush garlic tax evaders

The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) says its new whistleblowing website has helped it extinguish a cigarette-smuggling ring and sniff out falsely labelled garlic. Since OLAF launched the internet-based Fraud Notification System last year, the number of fraud tip-offs has increased: previously, whistleblowers could leave a …

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TRT
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Is the testing facility not in Transylvania?

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TRT
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Actually... I wonder if the revenue from this duty is known as garlic bread?

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Anonymous Coward

This is just window dressing - OLAF's primary role is to hunt down and harass whistle-blowers and journalists who expose fraud in EU institutions.(e.g. Hans-Martin Tillack).

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Care to substantiating this with a quote/link/report?

I don't doubt you but i'm indoctrinated since childhood to question unsubstantiated/unreferenced claims.

And before you say it, no, google is not my friend, it would be if i were making a statement.

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Holmes

Try trawling through back issues of Private Eye, they have been covering the OLAF scandals for years.

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Only three labs?

'OLAF realised that these labs were among only three in the whole of Europe "able to undertake the DNA testing necessary to determine the species of the garlic"'

In America, by contrast, this is the sort of task that high school students can undertake. In the commendable study linked here, adulterants were discovered in a range of herbal teas.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110721095855.htm

It's also worth noting that the equipment the students used cost about $5,000 plus $15 per sample and took about 24 hours in total. How much did EU taxpayers pay?

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FAIL

the cheaper solution

Would be to harmonise the different import duties - if they had the same tax rate there wouldn't be a fraud to attempt.

Of coursethey wouldn't think of that.

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Alert

Yes, after a fashion

The import duties should be "harmonized" to zero. Why is there a duty on garlic, FFS?

To answer my own question, there's a duty on garlic because the local garlic farmers bought off their politicians so as to avoid having to compete and so make local consumers pay more for what should be cheaper.

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I'm old enough to remember garlic being cheap as chips - cheaper, in fact. Its price skyrocketed ovenight after studies were published which showed its health benefits. Because that's a well know axiom - health is only for those who can afford it.

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WTF?

I'm curious

Why is there a specific duty of €1,200 per tonne on garlic??

@David Pollard: I am no specialist, but distinguishing two closely related species might be significantly harder than detecting completely unrelated species...

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Unhappy

To protect French/Spanish/whatever agriculture

Duh!

Which is what most EU agriculture/trade policy is about.

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@ ratfox - closely related species

"Distinguishing two closely related species might be significantly harder than detecting completely unrelated species..."

If you read the article about the high school testing, it looks as though they were close enough to the sharp edge of technology.

' the young scientists helped discover that the tea plant includes a genetic difference between broad-leaf assamica variety tea exported from India and small-leaf sinensis variety tea exported from China, the two largest tea-producing countries by far.'

'"We were excited to make a genetic discovery, particularly in an important crop plant like tea that scientists have scrutinized in detail," says Young...'

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Ban the stuff!

Garlic is evil and should be taxed into oblivion! I hate the way 99% of all 'convenience food' is laden with the stuff - enough to make your eyes water if you stand near the oven when cooking it, and all next day there's a foul taste in your mouth.

It didn't used to be like that, time was when we Brits would sneer at our continental cousins for stinking of the stuff, but now we're all at it. Tsk Tsk, what's the world coming to, I don't know.

</rant>

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Heaven forfend

I suggest you visit the Isle of Wight for the Garlic Festival so you can find all sorts of uses that the vile producers have come up with before you waste a good rant.....

Garlic Fudge and Garlic Ice Cream? All washed down with Garlic Beer??

Actually it's all a good giggle and an excuse to show off your trivia skills by pointing out that Elephant Garlic isn't actually Garlic......

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Yag
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Joke

Resistance is futile. You will be garlicized.

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Coat

continental cousins?

You do know that throughout British history garlic or "garlyck" has been used for not only cooking.

I think the first mention in writing goes back as far as the 11th century, it was used as an antibacterial dressing on the battlefield and also as a blood purifier when eaten.

Ramsons ( wild garlic or garlic lilly ) are also steeped in history as they may have been used as a meeting place, they are generally found in damp soil in woodland, usually near a water source, and can be found by the smell of garlic from a distance hence easy to find for non locals, all parts even the flowers are edible and the leaves make a nice addition to a salad if mixed in with the greens.

The there is the much unheard of garlic mustard or Jack of the hedgerow ( named because it can be found along roads or tracks in abundance ) which is native to this country and makes a nice addition to salad greens as well.

I could go on and on and on ( sorry ) but I did research for a thesis many, many years ago so I may have the dates wrong now due to a failing brane.

OK, OK I am going, mines the one with the plants growing out of the pockets.

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Holmes

Ah but...

if you were in the bad old days it would have been laced with SALT! or even MSG!!! to give the tasteless pap some flavour - which is worse I ask you?

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Trollface

Don't eat it, then

If you don't like garlic, don't eat it, but don't deny the rest of us the choice to eat it (I know you are just trolling, but this attitude is too often seriously expoused - "I don't like it so you can't have it!")

Personally, I wonder if you could make a flour from garlic, and thence a dough from the flour, and then mince garlic into that dough, bake it, and top it with garlic butter and cheese with garlic.

"Yo dog - I heard you like garlic, so I put garlic in yo garlic..."

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Trollface

So what you're saying is...

You do or you don't want to come over for the Gilroy Garlic Festival?

Mmm. Garlic ice cream, anyone?

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Anonymous Coward

@kryptonaut

>and all next day there's a foul taste in your mouth

I never knew garlic got you so off your rocker that you couldn't remember who went to bed with the night before nor what you got up to. You must be right, truly evil stuff.

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Holmes

With stupendous taxes like that on a silly thing like garlic, one can only shudder at the thought of taxes imposed upon important things like snails, white flags, and frogs legs! The exposure of this kind of draconian financial vampirism by the powers that be in the European Union cast light at long last upon why they are feverishly fermenting in this dreadful financial cesspool.

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The scary thing is that ...

The food inspectors can't tell the difference between garlic and elephant garlic by sight and smell! It's not exactly difficult ... Remember, Eurofolks, these are the people "protecting" your food supply. Scary, isn't it?

What's even scarier is that any nation on Earth actually imports the stuff. It's not exactly difficult to grow, and yields per acre make it a valid cash crop. I always have a couple rows growing, at various levels of maturity.

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Coat

I'm glad OLAF is on the beat....

Because counterfeit garlic stinks!!

coat + hat + door = gone

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