` California Passes Olive Oil Labeling Law - Olive Oil Times

California Passes Olive Oil Labeling Law

Aug. 24, 2015
Wendy Logan

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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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