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-   -   Non-olive olive oil (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=87003)

snopes 05 September 2013 02:14 AM

Non-olive olive oil
 
Comment: I have recently been told olive oils without a particular little
symbol on the label are not 100% olive oil even though the label lists no
other ingredients but olive oil; and that most are being cut/diluted with
lower cost oils such as canola or safflower oil (still not listed). When I
asked how that could get by without the FDA required labeling I was
advised "they" had received some sort of special "dispensation". Somehow,
I find this all difficult to believe, not that they are not having some
other oils added (I have found a few that are so labelled), but that it is
sort of a general practice and they don't have to show all the ingredients
on the label.

WildaBeast 05 September 2013 02:21 AM

I'd have to search for a cite, but I do remember rearing something on NPR about how cheaper brands of olive oil are often cut with cheaper oils. I can't remember if it was actually allowed by the FDA, or if they were just getting away with it because the FDA wasn't really checking for it.

ETA: I think this is what I was remembering. It's mostly talking about how olive oil labeled "extra virgin" often doesn't qualify as true extra virgin olive oil, but he does mention that sometimes other oils might be mixed in, and says it happens because there's very little oversight of the olive industry:

Quote:

Now, other vegetable oils or low-grade olive oils that have been deodorized can quite easily be mixed with that. It's a low-temperature refining process that removes the bad smells ... and also the nutritional benefits and the taste. But this mix can be sold as extra virgin.
Unfortunately, the level of oversight in the olive oil industry -- especially in America, but also elsewhere -- is quite low. For that reason, it's pretty easy to get away with fraud.

RealityChuck 05 September 2013 07:53 PM

They are required to list the actual oils used, but there's quite a bit of fraud going around, and it's difficult to catch. If the FDA finds out, you're fined, but it's hard to prove.

A Turtle Named Mack 05 September 2013 08:30 PM

I remember 5-10 years ago an epidemic of poisoning in Spain, and perhaps adjacent areas, due to someone passing off some really unfit oil (perhaps a petroleum derivative) mixed with vegetable oil as olive oil. I think it was sold in the poor neighborhoods through street vendors or similar. It had to be a significant issue, I should think, for it to hit the US media.


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