A federal judge in New York gave Kangadis Foods, the marketer of Capatriti brand olive oils two choices: either recall its “100% Pure Olive Oil” products, or apply stickers to every tin notifying customers that what’s inside is not really olive oil at all.
In North American Olive Oil Association (NAOOA) v. Kangadis Food Inc., U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff denied a request by Kangadis to limit the recall and labeling to only stocks held at wholesalers, according to Law 360.
Capatriti brand products are sold in Walmart stores, and NAOOA estimated Kangadis sells about one million tins of “100% Pure Olive Oil” each year.
In its first-ever legal action against an olive oil company, NAOOA sued the makers of Capatriti products in February, accusing Kangadis Foods, which conducts business as The Gourmet Factory, of “unlawful, misleading and deceptive misbranding.”
Olive pomace oil is a refined product extracted from the byproducts of the first pressing, the leftover olive pits and pulp, using high heat and chemical solvents. “Olive pomace oil is not allowed in any grade of olive oil under any standard in the world,” said Eryn Balch, executive vice president of the NAOOA.
The NAOOA first took interest in the Capatriti brand when it “observed significant price discrepancy in recent months,” said Balch. The lawsuit documents state that Capatriti’s “100% Pure Olive Oil” sold for one-third to one-half the prices of comparable products.