U.S. Congress Directs FDA to Test Imported Olive Oils

The U.S. House Agricultural Committee directed the FDA to look into creating a sampling and testing system for imported oils and to report back to Congress on its findings.

Apr. 21, 2016
By Wendy Logan

Recent News

The House Agriculture Committee decided on Tuesday to take steps to address olive oil fraud in the U.S. as appro­pri­a­tors work­ing on the new Fiscal Year 2017 FDA spend­ing bill called for tests on all imported olive oil.

The com­mit­tee’s report stated, The com­mit­tee is con­cerned with reports that con­sis­tently describe the preva­lence of adul­ter­ated and fraud­u­lently labeled olive oil imported into the United States and sold to American con­sumers.”

The com­mit­tee cited pub­lic health as an addi­tional tar­get of the pro­vi­sion and directed the FDA to look into cre­at­ing a sam­pling and test­ing sys­tem for imported oils and to report back to Congress on its find­ings. Some prod­ucts labeled as olive oil may con­tain seed oil, which poses a seri­ous health risk to con­sumers who are aller­gic to (it),” it said.

The Committee directs the FDA to take a sam­pling of imported olive oil to deter­mine if it is adul­ter­ated or mis­branded, pur­suant to Section 342 or Section 343 of the FDCA, respec­tively, and report to Congress within 270 days on its find­ings and what actions the FDA will take to ensure con­sumer safety and proper label­ing of imported olive oil.”

The fact that the com­mit­tee’s report specif­i­cally calls for test­ing of imported olive oils sug­gests the action was the result of efforts by domes­tic pro­ducer groups, who have in recent years lob­bied con­gress on sev­eral fronts includ­ing call­ing for an inves­ti­ga­tion by the United States International Trade Commission, the for­ma­tion of a Calfornia Olive Oil Commission and a new set of stan­dards for domes­tic prod­ucts that many see as a pre­cur­sor to restric­tions on imported oils that cur­rently account for more than 95 per­cent of olive oil con­sumed in the United States.


Related Articles

Feedback / Suggestions