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seneca Post time: 2015-4-10 20:41
I must check my olive oil again.
This is from Wikipedia. I could probably dig up the original sources as this is fully cited... it's the tip of the nasty iceberg..
An article by Tom Mueller in the August 13, 2007 issue of The New Yorker states that major Italian shippers routinely adulterate olive oil and that only about 40% of olive oil sold as "extra virgin" actually meets the specification. In some cases, colza oil with added color and flavor has been labeled and sold as olive oil. This extensive fraud prompted the Italian government to mandate a new labeling law in 2007 for companies selling olive oil, under which every bottle of Italian olive oil would have to declare the farm and press on which it was produced, as well as display a precise breakdown of the oils used, for blended oils. In February 2008, however, EU officials took issue with the new law, stating that under EU rules such labeling should be voluntary rather than compulsory. Under EU rules, olive oil may be sold as Italian even if it only contains a small amount of Italian oil.
In 1993, the FDA ordered a recall of Rubino U.S.A. Inc., (Cincinnati, Ohio) olive oils which were nothing more than canola oil.
In 1997, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency began conducting tests on 100 oils that claimed to be 100% olive oil and in 1999 the CFIA concluded that 20 per cent of the oils were fake. In 2013, "Figures released at the [IOC's] Workshop on Olive Oil Authentication, held in Madrid June 10–11, show that one in four olive oils sampled in Spain, and nearly one in three in Canada, failed recent official fraud tests."
In 2007, American supermarket chain ShopRite recalled certain olive oils after it was discovered that they were counterfeit.
In March 2008, 400 Italian police officers conducted "Operation Golden Oil," arresting 23 people and confiscating 85 farms after an investigation revealed a large-scale scheme to relabel oils from other Mediterranean nations as Italian. In April 2008, another operation impounded seven olive oil plants and arrested 40 people in nine provinces of northern and southern Italy for adding chlorophyll to sunflower and soybean oil and selling it as extra virgin olive oil, both in Italy and abroad. 25,000 liters of the fake oil were seized and prevented from being exported.
On December 22, 2008, the Guardia Civil in La Rioja (Spain) warned about the possible sale of adulterated olive oil in the area. This warning came after 550 litres of oil was found in a large container labelled ‘Astispumante 1510’ in Rincón de Soto and after the theft of 1,750 litres of oil was reported in the area on December 18, 2008.
In the first week of March 2010, researchers at the University of California at Davis' Olive Center purchased three bottles each of 14 imported olive oils and five California oils at retail stores in three different regions of California (Sacramento County, San Francisco Bay Area, and Los Angeles County). All of the oils were labeled "extra-virgin olive oil." Samples were shipped to the Australian Oils Research Laboratory in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales and were analyzed by their laboratory (which is recognized by the IOC to provide chemical analysis of olive oil) and tested by their sensory panel (which is recognized by the IOC as qualified to perform olive oil sensory analysis). Duplicate testing was performed at the UC Davis olive oil research project laboratories. Sixty-nine percent of the imported olive oils and 10% of the California oils failed to meet the IOC/USDA taste standards for extra-virgin olive oil. Samples that failed had a median of up to 3.5 IOC-standardized sensory defects (such as rancid, fusty, and musty). The standard IOC/USDA chemical tests only identified 31% of the failed oils as defective, primarily by exceeding the IOC/USDA limit for ultraviolet absorbance of late oxidation products (K232 and K268); two more recently introduced German chemical tests (now incorporated into the Australian extra-virgin standard) were each more than twice as effective at detection of defective oils. A subsequent round of testing in 2011 found similar results.
On March 15, 2011, the Florence, Italy prosecutor’s office, working in conjunction with the forestry department, indicted two managers and an officer of Carapelli, one of the brands of the Spanish company Grupo SOS (which recently changed its name to Deoleo). The charges involved falsified documents and food fraud. Carapelli lawyer Neri Pinucci said the company was not worried about the charges and that “the case is based on an irregularity in the documents.”
Standards Australia has adopted a code of practice for the testing of olive oils; however, while allowing oils to be certified as being genuine extra-virgin, the code regarding labeling is voluntary. The Australian Olive Association (AOA) is campaigning to have the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission force supermarkets to adhere to the code. After testing by AOA in 2012, every imported brand of extra-virgin olive oil fell below the standard that would be required for AOA certification