`Olive Council Denounces UC Davis Report's 'Undercurrent of Aggression' - Olive Oil Times

Olive Council Denounces UC Davis Report's 'Undercurrent of Aggression'

Apr. 14, 2011
Olive Oil Times Staff

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Calling the sec­ond UC Davis Olive Center study the same inex­plic­a­ble crit­i­cism” that could cause irrepara­ble dam­age to the rep­u­ta­tion of olive oil”, the International Olive Council shot back at researchers in California and Australia cit­ing an under­cur­rent of aggres­sion.”

IOC Executive Director Jean-Louis Barjol, who only recently returned from the United States — his first offi­cial trip as direc­tor — expressed frus­tra­tion in his state­ment that the Olive Center turned their newly-minted IOC-approved tast­ing panel against the inter­na­tional body and its mem­bers.

The direc­tor accused UC Davis researchers of coop­er­at­ing only when it was con­ve­nient for them to do so, and called for all pro­duc­ing coun­tries to join the ranks” of IOC mem­bers in order to find sat­is­fac­tory solu­tions through con­struc­tive, all-around coop­er­a­tion.”

With plans to launch this Summer a $1.7 mil­lion cam­paign to pro­mote the use of olive oil in the United States and Canada, Mr. Barjol said in an inter­view last week that the U.S. and Australia seemed, in a sense, to be tak­ing advan­tage of the IOC. They use our lab­o­ra­to­ries every year; they attend our meet­ings and they come to be rec­og­nized by IOC for their com­pe­tence in chem­i­cal and sen­sory char­ac­ter­is­tics”, he said.

The Davis and Australian researchers found that the top-sell­ing imported brands of extra vir­gin’ olive oil sold in the United States and pur­chased at retail loca­tions through­out California often failed the IOC’s sen­sory stan­dards for extra vir­gin olive oil,” accord­ing to the report.

The study was con­ducted by the University of California at Davis’ Olive Center which is sup­ported by the California Olive Oil Council and its mem­bers who stand to gain from the dis­cred­it­ing of imported olive oil. California olive oil pro­duc­ers pro­vide about one per­cent of the olive oil con­sumed in the United States, but they are devel­op­ing the capac­ity to sup­ply much more than that.


In a let­ter to California Olive Oil Council mem­bers today, COOC President Brendon Flynn referred to the report as an excel­lent oppor­tu­nity to engage the pub­lic in a dis­cus­sion about the ben­e­fits of pur­chas­ing olive oil from California pro­duc­ers” encour­ag­ing them to cap­i­tal­ize on this moment.”

Meanwhile Bob Bauer, the direc­tor of the IOC-affil­i­ated North American Olive Oil Association responded to the report say­ing in a state­ment today, It’s reveal­ing to note that the domes­tic olive oil indus­try has pushed for stan­dards less strin­gent than the IOC stan­dards that NAOOA mem­bers have adopted because they said their olive oils can’t meet those stan­dards. Yet they use and empha­size sub­jec­tive and rejected tests to try to make peo­ple believe imported oils don’t meet those more-strin­gent stan­dards.”

Consumers knew bet­ter than to accept the find­ings’ in UC Davis’ last study and we expect the same will hold true again,” he added.

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