`Experts Urge EU to Recognize Olive Oil Benefits - Olive Oil Times

Experts Urge EU to Recognize Olive Oil Benefits

Jun. 26, 2010
Daniel Williams

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By Daniel Williams
Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Barcelona

Leading olive oil indus­try experts met at the Menendez Pelayo International University in Santander, Spain to crit­i­cize the European Union’s cur­rent stance towards the var­i­ous health ben­e­fits of con­sum­ing olive oil. Experts par­tic­i­pated in a series of lec­tures and sem­i­nars from June 14th to June 18th that high­lighted the need for olive oil to gain EU recog­ni­tion as play­ing an impor­tant part of a healthy diet. Experts agreed that such recog­ni­tion is nec­es­sary in order to sub­stan­tially dif­fer­en­ti­ate olive oil from other forms of oils and fats that are less ben­e­fi­cial to one’s health.

This idea was reit­er­ated through­out the con­fer­ence enti­tled Olive Oil, History and Life” and was orga­nized and directed by lead­ing doc­tor and adviser from the Department of Lipids at the Reina Sofia Hospital in Cordoba, Fernando Lopez Segura. Of par­tic­u­lar con­cern to olive oil pro­duc­ers and busi­ness own­ers, accord­ing to the par­tic­i­pants, is the European Union’s fail­ure to rec­og­nize olive oil health prop­er­ties, often group­ing olive oil with other types of bad fats” despite over­whelm­ing sci­en­tific evi­dence show­ing olive oil con­sump­tion to have clear long term health ben­e­fits.

The con­fer­ence dis­cussed the var­i­ous dif­fi­cul­ties of explain­ing the over­all ben­e­fits of olive oil to the aver­age con­sumer espe­cially in the face of eco­nomic uncer­tainty. A major hur­dle is mar­ket­ing olive oil’s ben­e­fits when it is often three times as expen­sive as sub­sti­tutes like sun­flower or veg­etable oil. Experts reit­er­ated olive oil’s inher­ent worth how­ever, cit­ing its inclu­sion as an impor­tant part of the Mediterranean diet which has shown to extend the life spans of those who adhere to it.

To sup­ple­ment this, the sem­i­nar atten­dees heard from sports med­i­cine spe­cial­ist Juan Antonio Corbalán who detailed find­ings of varies stud­ies that show olive oil to aid in the defense against var­i­ous types of sick­ness and dis­ease. Corbalán warned con­sumers of olive oil sub­sti­tutes like trans-fats and ani­mal fats that these sub­sti­tutes may be cheaper in the here and now, but will even­tu­ally pro­duce costly neg­a­tive effects to the body’s health in the long term.

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