` California Passes Olive Oil Labeling Law

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California Passes Olive Oil Labeling Law

Aug. 24, 2015
By Wendy Logan

Recent News

In an indus­try fraught with coun­ter­feits and mis­in­for­ma­tion, and in an age where the label­ing of food (and food-like) prod­ucts has come under intense scrutiny, the state of California’s Sen­a­tor Lois Wolk, chair of the state’s Agri­cul­ture Sub­com­mit­tee on Olive Oil Pro­duc­tion and Emerg­ing Prod­ucts, has stepped up to address truth in label­ing.

Cal­i­for­nia Gov­er­nor Jerry Brown has signed into law Bill 65, effec­tively revers­ing pre­vi­ous leg­is­la­tion that allowed olive oil pro­duc­ers to say their prod­ucts were pro­duced in Cal­i­for­nia, or even to spec­ify a par­tic­u­lar region of Cal­i­for­nia, even if the bulk of the prod­uct orig­i­nated else­where.

The new stan­dards estab­lished by the Olive Oil Com­mis­sion of Cal­i­for­nia, which exam­ines and rec­om­mends grad­ing and label­ing prac­tices and stan­dards and passes along their find­ings to the state’s Depart­ment of Food and Agri­cul­ture, build from ear­lier leg­is­la­tion intro­duced by Wolk in 2013.

If olive oil uses Cal­i­for­nia’ on the label, then 100 per­cent of the oil must be from olives grown in Cal­i­for­nia. There must be truth in label­ing,” Wolk said.

The new law fur­ther states that if a label indi­cates the product’s ori­gin is a spe­cific region in Cal­i­for­nia, at least 85 per­cent of the oil, by weight, must be trace­able to fruit grown specif­i­cally in that area. More strin­gently, any ref­er­ence to a par­tic­u­lar Cal­i­for­nia estate requires that a min­i­mum of 95 per­cent must be from olives grown on that estate.

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As California’s olive oil indus­try con­tin­ues to grow, it is crit­i­cal that labels accu­rately reflect the prod­uct con­sumers are buy­ing,” Wolk said.

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