` Industry Group Responds to UC Davis Olive Oil Report (Press Release) - Olive Oil Times

Industry Group Responds to UC Davis Olive Oil Report (Press Release)

Jul. 16, 2010
Olive Oil Times Staff

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North American Olive Oil Association rig­or­ously tests imported olive oils and is fight­ing to estab­lish con­sis­tent olive oil stan­dards.”

NEPTUNE, N.J. – (BUSINESS WIRE) – Like too many stud­ies about food, a recent University of California at Davis study on olive oil is caus­ing con­fu­sion among con­sumers. In the U.S. mar­ket, 99 per­cent of the olive oil sold is imported, and the largest olive oil trade asso­ci­a­tion is fight­ing to set the record straight about the authen­tic­ity, qual­ity and health ben­e­fits of imported olive oils.

Through our ongo­ing, rig­or­ous test­ing of olive oils by inter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized labs, I assure you that the imported olive oils sold by our mem­bers are labeled cor­rectly”

There are often rumors that prod­ucts labeled as olive oil may not be 100 per­cent authen­tic,” said Bob Bauer, pres­i­dent of the North American Olive Oil Association (NAOOA), a trade asso­ci­a­tion rep­re­sent­ing mar­keters, pack­agers and importers of olive oil in the United States, Canada and their respec­tive sup­pli­ers abroad.

For 20 years, the NAOOA, in con­junc­tion with the International Olive Council (IOC), which is the rec­og­nized world­wide body that sets qual­ity stan­dards for the olive oil indus­try, has been rig­or­ously test­ing oils sold in the U.S. to ver­ify qual­ity and authen­tic­ity. Results prove that on aver­age, 99 per­cent of the olive oil sold in stores through­out the U.S. meet the inter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized stan­dards.

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Through our ongo­ing, rig­or­ous test­ing of olive oils by inter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized labs, I assure you that the imported olive oils sold by our mem­bers are labeled cor­rectly,” Bauer stated. Members of NAOOA rep­re­sent some of the largest national con­sumer, regional and pri­vate label brands.

The UC-Davis study attempts to dis­credit the qual­ity of imported olive oils. For its study, a much smaller sam­ple size of oils was tested, pulling 19 oils from California mar­kets. The NAOOA sam­ples hun­dreds of oils pur­chased all across the coun­try. The study also included some test­ing meth­ods not rec­og­nized by the IOC.

We sam­ple more than 200 olive oils a year and con­duct rig­or­ous chem­i­cal analy­sis through inde­pen­dent labs,” Bauer explained. We’re find­ing that less than 10 per­cent of the oils tested have any prob­lems and they, in total, typ­i­cally rep­re­sent less than 1 per­cent of the mar­ket. In fact, a con­di­tion of mem­ber­ship in the NAOOA is that mem­bers must meet the inter­na­tional stan­dard. If our test results show they don’t, they will be removed from the asso­ci­a­tion.”

The NAOOA is and has been a cham­pion of qual­ity olive oil for decades,” Bauer added. We con­tinue to take steps to pro­tect con­sumers, includ­ing encour­ag­ing reg­u­la­tors at the fed­eral and state level to fol­low the IOC stan­dards to guar­an­tee con­sumers a mod­ern stan­dard in iden­ti­fy­ing and label­ing olive oil.”

To fur­ther assure con­sumers of the qual­ity and authen­tic­ity of imported olive oil, the NAOOA estab­lished a cer­ti­fied qual­ity seal pro­gram to rec­og­nize and pro­mote olive oils that mea­sure up to the industry’s stan­dards of excel­lence. The pro­gram exem­pli­fies the NAOOA’s long-stand­ing com­mit­ment to edu­cate con­sumers about the ben­e­fits of olive oil and ensures the integrity of the prod­uct.

The bot­tom line is that imported olive oils are authen­tic, high-qual­ity prod­ucts. They offer many heart-healthy ben­e­fits, they are ver­sa­tile for cook­ing, and they are a good value,” Bauer stated. Importers’ prod­ucts rep­re­sent the major­ity of olive oil avail­able to con­sumers – 99 per­cent – and it’s pru­dent that we uphold the high stan­dards of qual­ity con­sumers expect. It’s pru­dent to our indus­try as well.”

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