Refillable Olive Oil Bottle Ban Put On Ice

The European Commission has shelved its plan to ban refillable olive oil bottles on restaurant tables in the face of what it acknowledged as strong consumer opposition.

European Commissioner for Agriculture Dacian Cioloş said today he will meet with restaurant, hotel and consumer representatives in Brussels next week to come up with a better way to address quality issues with olive oil.

Cioloş made the announcement – described by some as an unprecedented backflip – at a press conference in Brussels during which he also faced questions about the power of the olive oil lobby and whether the u-turn was a nod to the “northern countries.”

He said the measure had been intended to help consumers. He decided to withdraw it after taking into account the number of strong positions against it in “consumer countries,” in other words countries where olive oil is not produced but is consumed.

It is not yet clear whether other measures in the same draft regulation covering the bottle ban will now also be put on ice, including stricter rules on labeling which appeared to have general support.

More articles on: , ,

This article was last updated December 22, 2014 - 6:20 PM (GMT-5)

  • Billy G.

    Reason triumphs. Good move.

  • rachel

    As much as I appreciate the effort to improve the quality of restaurant olive oil, I did not believe this was the way to do it.

    Diners need to know what bad olive oil smells and tastes like and make their own decisions.

    Of course, hypothetically speaking, if everyone puts their noses up to the cruet, that would be a problem too — but we have tolerated filthy ketchup, mustard, salt and pepper dispensers since the beginning of time, and that’s another story.

  • Justin

    What a shambles. It appears that the European Commission does not have the courage of its own convictions.