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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Nicolas Belfrage MW & Franco Ziliani

American consumers are buying falsified Italian wines and other Italian goods, according to a study carried out by the Italian research institute Nomisma (for Indicod). Nomisma claims the market for wine in the US is calculable, in terms of consumer dollars, at $5,445 million per annum, of which $397 million is spent on goods made in Italy'. Phoney Italian wines sell to the tune of no less than $541 million dollars (of which at least $21 million is labelled DOC), a figure substantially higher than that achieved by the genuine article. The fake wines which imitate the Italians - taking their name and aping their presentation without respecting the quality of the original goods - represent almost 10% of the total US wine market. The allegations are based on an investigation into the sale of Italian products on the US market, with special reference to the retail sector. The full results of the Nomisma investigation will be announced in the first week of September, just before the Cancun session of the World Trade Organisation.