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(AGI) Rho, Milan, June 15 - Thirteen cyber-traps were used toprotect the Parmigiano Reggiano brand. The operations stoppedabout 5,000 tons of counterfeit Parmesan cheese certified as"Protected Denomination of Origin" (DOP) from being soldonline. This is almost half the monthly production of genuineParmigiano cheese. The operations were the fruit of the firstweek of collaboration between the Italian Ministry forAgricultural Policies and the Alibaba online platform, after asimilar agreement signed with auction site eBay. Under theagreement Italy's almost 800 national denominations areprotected by the two online sales giants using reports by theMinistry's Fraud Repression Inspectorate. After they areconfirmed as counterfeit the products are removed from theplatform. Maurizio Martina, Minister of Agriculture, during the"Joint Action on Italian Geographical Indications" conferenceat Milan Expo on Monday said that since the beginning of thecollaboration with eBay, more than 200 vendors have beenstopped from selling fake Grana Padano, Aceto Balsamico orwine. On Alibaba, a group which had a turnover of more than 240billion euros last year with hundreds of millions of usersglobally, operations are under way to check Prosecco wine andAceto Balsamico di Modena. The Agriculture Minister said theinternet represents a "decisive frontier because it refers to agrowing market also for the agrifood sector. Italy is the firstcountry in the world which can boast a fast intervention systemto protect denomination of origin of products like the one wedeveloped this year. Thanks to our collaboration with eBay andAlibaba, we can combat unfair competition from those whoillegally use our geographical indications. We protect theday-to-day work of more than 3,000 firms that produce DOP andIGP wines and food." The sector produces goods worth more than13.5 billion euros and is one of the most dynamic segments ofMade in Italy exports, he said. (AGI) . .