California olive oil industry presses Senate for enforcement standards

California's olive oil industry is urging the Senate for enforcement of oil standard regarding quality, adulteration, false advertising and food labeling. "Clear laws exist on olive oil quality, adulteration, false advertising, food labeling and so forth. But nobody is enforcing these laws. Not the FDA. Not the state health departments. Not one district attorney."

From the Daily Democrat:

Members of California's olive oil industry and experts from around the world pressed members of the Senate yesterday for enforcement of oil standards, testifying on the damaging effects of fraudulent and low-quality olive oil on honest olive oil growers and producers, as well as consumers.

"Clear laws exist on olive oil quality, adulteration, false advertising, food labeling and so forth. But nobody is enforcing these laws. Not the FDA. Not the state health departments. Not one district attorney. Nobody," said Tom Mueller, an American writer and freelance journalist who has written about the olive oil industry in his book "Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil" and for the New Yorker.

"Because of this river of cheap counterfeit oils, consumers are deprived of the health benefits they expect when they buy what they think is extra virgin olive oil, and in some cases may be eating products that harm their health," he testified. "Honest growers, oil producers, and importers can't make a living, since they're consistently undercut by low-cost, substandard products and outright fraud."

For more, see: Senate hears challenges facing state's expanding olive oil industry

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