Debate continues to swirl around the recent UC Davis Olive Center’s report that found most imported extra virgin olive oils sampled did not meet international standards.
National Public Radio today on a segment titled Your Olive Oil May Not Be The Virgin It Claims interviewed Charles Shoemaker, a chemist from the UC Davis lab, and Bob Bauer, President of the North American Olive Oil Association. Bauer, whose NAOOA membership includes most of the major olive oil importers, has been hitting the airwaves in an effort to refute the report, which Bauer calls “irresponsible” for relying partly on tests that he says have not been internationally recognized.
The UC Davis report was financed in part by the California Olive Oil Council whose members, mostly domestic olive oil producers, have much to gain by the discrediting of imported olive oils.
The report has received considerable media coverage as headlines like NBC’s “Nothing Extra About Imported Extra-Virgin Oil”, or “Lab Tests Cast doubt on Olive Oil’s Virginity” (LA Times) have made for attention-grabbing copy. Hundreds of outlets have covered the story since the report was first posted here nearly two weeks ago.