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

House Rejects Olive Oil Import Restrictions, Then Farm Bill Altogether

Jun. 20, 2013
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.”

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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