`Italy Nears Cruet Ban of its Own

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Italy Nears Cruet Ban of its Own

Oct. 2, 2014
Luciana Squadrilli

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The Sen­ate, one of the two houses of the Ital­ian Par­lia­ment, finally approved the EU reg­u­la­tion 2013 bis (S1533) which con­tains, among oth­ers, an impor­tant rul­ing about olive oil: arti­cle 19 requires the use of a manda­tory anti-top­ping” cap for olive oil bot­tles served in restau­rants, thus ban­ning the pic­turesque but unc­tu­ous cruets still used in many places, as well the re-filled” extra vir­gin olive oil bot­tles where the con­tent does­n’t match the label.

The rule does­n’t apply to the oil used in restau­rant kitchens for the prepa­ra­tion of food, but vir­gin olive oils pre­sented at the table must be served with an ade­quate cap or other clos­ing device in order to pre­vent the alter­ation of the con­tents once the con­tainer is opened.

The approval came after that the text of the law pro­posed by the gov­ern­ment had been rejected and mod­i­fied by par­lia­ment, regard­ing sep­a­rate top­ics also included in the reg­u­la­tion. This time, min­is­ter Maria Elena Boschi asked for a vote of con­fi­dence,” and the mea­sure was approved by the sen­ate with 214 pos­i­tive votes, only one neg­a­tive vote and 27 absten­tions.

Colomba Mongiello

The law must now be finally approved by the cham­ber of deputies, the lower house of the Ital­ian par­lia­ment, to prop­erly enter into force.

S1533 is part of a wider leg­is­la­tion reg­u­lat­ing the qual­ity and trans­parency of vir­gin olive oil pro­duc­tion and dis­tri­b­u­tion signed by for­mer sen­a­tor Colomba Mongiello, now at the agri­cul­ture com­mis­sion at the cham­ber of deputies. The leg­is­la­tion is com­monly called the oil saver” law as it aims to intro­duce strict rules about label­ing, con­trols and sanc­tions.

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The law was pre­sented, approved and put into force in Italy in Jan­u­ary 2013 but it was fiercely opposed by other mem­bers of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, espe­cially Eng­land and The Ned­er­lands. Only in June, thanks to an amend­ment pre­sented by Mongiello, was the law able to over­come the Euro­pean veto and was approved. The amend­ment included the anti-top­ping cap” and a new label­ing pro­vi­sion that requires mixed vir­gin olive oils com­ing from dif­fer­ent coun­tries to bare the cap­tion mix” on the cap.

This is not a law against free trade,” Mongiello declared in a press release in June, but against those who want to change trade into a play­ground.”

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