Innocent or guilty? One of the well-
known extra-virgin olive oils alleged
to be not exactly extra-virgin.
Last week we wrote about shadiness in the olive oil industry: In a study conducted by the Olive Center at the University of California at Davis, 69% of imported oils labeled as extra-virgin were not; 10% of California oils sampled did not meet the standards.
The follow-up news may shock lay people, but it’s just more olive oil “business as usual.”
A group of prominent California restaurateurs and chefs has filed a class-action lawsuit against olive oil distributors and retailers.
The lawsuit, which seeks class action status, targets 10 major olive oil brands: Bertolli, Carapelli, Colavita, Filippo Berio, Mazola, Mezzetta, Pompeian, Rachael Ray, Safeway Select and Star. It also names 10 major supermarket chains and big box stores that allegedly sold substandard oil as “extra-virgin.” This includes olive oil mixed with cheaper types of oil, lower quality olive oil and olive oil degraded by heat or age.
An olive oil labeled “extra-virgin” should assure consumers that the oil was extracted without the use of heat or chemicals, that it is pure, that it satisfies a taste test and that it falls within chemical parameters established by the International Olive Council (IOC).