After learning about the report of File No. 20702, approved on April 25 by the Special Permanent Legislative Commission for the Control of Public Income and Expenditures, with 4 votes in favor and 3 against, Costa Rica`s Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock wishes to clarify the following:
"As stated in the minutes, the report does not allow the deputies to verify the existence of fraudulent exports of conventional pineapple as if they were organic pineapples to Europe and the United States.
Regarding the alleged fraud, the matter was first investigated by the State Phytosanitary Service, a decentralized technical entity that is attached to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, which, by law and regulation, is in charge of addressing this matter. They followed procedures and respected, at all times, the due process and right of defense of the companies. After analyzing all the documentation that makes up the administrative file, they determined that the complaint had no basis as they couldn't determine that conventional pineapples were being exported as organic pineapples".
The National Organic Program of the Compliance and Enforcement Division of the Department of Agriculture of the United States of America also conducted an investigation and also ruled out that any fraud in the case analyzed by the Legislative Commission, according to a letter, of which we have a copy, from Ms. Betsy Rakola, the director of said program.
"We regret that this matter is being discussed outside the administrative and judicial channels established in our legal system, mainly in the media and in political spheres, putting at risk the credibility of our country's organic production."
"We reiterate that the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and the State Phytosanitary Service have exercised their powers as mandated by law (Law on Development, Promotion and Encouragement of Agricultural Activity (No. 8591), Phytosanitary Protection Law (No. 7664,) and Organic Law of the Environment (No. 7554), as well as by the binding opinion 313 of the Attorney General's Office of the Republic). They will continue doing so to fulfil their duty to guarantee the quality of the products of agricultural origin that Costa Rica produces and exports to the world".
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