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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 January 2007, 22:51 GMT
UN warning over counterfeit goods
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Counterfeiting is costing the global economy more than $100bn (51bn) every year and putting human health and safety at risk, a UN agency has said.

The World Intellectual Property Organisation says every product is a target for counterfeiters and that 10% of the world's medicines are fakes.

A conference in Geneva is looking at new ways to fight counterfeiting.

China was the worst offender for counterfeit goods, an International Chamber of Commerce survey said.

Lucrative names

Pirated goods are sold in almost every country in the world, an official from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development told the meeting.

European Union customs officials estimate that at least two-thirds of the counterfeit goods they seize come from China.

The BBC's Imogen Foulkes in Geneva says the conference - attended by officials and business leaders - is about more than protecting lucrative brand names or music and film copyright.

Pirated medicines are putting the health of patients at risk, especially in developing countries, said the World Health Organization.

Up to 25% of drugs taken in developing countries are fakes, the WHO estimates.

The most commonly counterfeited medicines are treatments for HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and malaria.

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