` House Rejects Olive Oil Import Restrictions, Then Farm Bill Altogether

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House Rejects Olive Oil Import Restrictions, Then Farm Bill Altogether

Jun. 20, 2013
By Olive Oil Times Staff

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Con­gress­man Chris Gib­son

The Unites States House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives failed to pass the 5- year Farm Bill today by a 195 – 234 vote, accord­ing to C‑SPAN. Only 24 Democ­rats voted in favor of the bill.

Ear­lier today, the House over­whelm­ingly (343 – 81) voted in favor of an amend­ment pro­posed by U.S. Con­gress­man Chris Gib­son of the 19th Dis­trict of New York to remove an olive oil pro­vi­sion from the bill.

The Gib­son amend­ment struck the olive oil import restric­tion con­tained in sec­tion 10010 of the bill. Under 10010, if a mar­ket­ing order for olive oil is estab­lished, olive oil imports would be sub­ject to restric­tions such as taste test­ing.

Eryn Balch, exec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of the North Amer­i­can Olive Oil Asso­ci­a­tion (NAOOA), which rep­re­sents olive oil importers and sup­ported the amend­ment to remove the olive oil pro­vi­sion, said she hoped the pro­vi­sion’s defeat might open a door now to other ways, other than a mar­ket­ing order, to improve stan­dards enforce­ment in the U.S.”

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When you look at the facts, it was very clear that this was some­thing that was overly bur­den­some, expen­sive and offered no over­sight of the prod­uct after inspec­tion, so it wasn’t going to stop fraud,” Balch said.

The Cal­i­for­nia Olive Oil Coun­cil, which was push­ing for sec­tion 10010, called the olive oil pro­vi­sion part of a com­mon sense pro­gram requir­ing imports to be held to the same stan­dards as Amer­i­can olive oil.”

Obvi­ously the COOC works very hard to develop a com­pet­i­tive domes­tic indus­try based on qual­ity, and we’re very dis­ap­pointed,” said COOC Direc­tor Patty Dar­ragh. We just felt that importers should meet the same stan­dards as domes­tic pro­duc­ers. This was a min­i­mum request, and it is not good news for con­sumer and retail­ers alike.

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