News: US passes new olive oil regulations   Leave a comment

What does “extra-virgin” mean on a bottle of olive oil in Kentucky? Starting in October 2010, it’ll mean a lot more. For years the Italian government has complained to the USDA about mislabeling of olive oil sold in the US market, mislabeling that relates to both provenance (Morroccan oil sold as Tuscan), content (mixed oils sold as “100% pure olive oil”), and quality (“extra-virgin”). This last term until now did not have any official, legally binding meaning in the United States.

The USDA has, however, announced new regulations that will take effect in October, standardizing nomenclature and mandating certain purity levels for different grades of oil. The decision was hailed by the California Olive Oil Council, whose members have been voluntarily following similar guidlines for years. The new regulations will make competition more fair for quality producers (who in the past have been forced to compete with cheap products) and will certainly reinforce the value of the “Made in Italy” brand in the United States.  ZN

[Read the new regulations here.]

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Posted November 16, 2010 by zachmon in Uncategorized

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