It makes us mad that the European olive oil industry is so deeply corrupt. One just has to regularly check European news reports for plenty of examples of ongoing olive oil fraud.
As of 2/1/2015, Olive Oil Times relayed European news that a consumer watchdog group testing the quality of European olive oils being sold to German consumers as “extra virgin” has recently found 50% to be fake (substandard).
Additionally, the consumer group reported that 5 of the 26 samples “were highly polluted with mineral oil hydrocarbons” and that 20 in 26 contained measurable pesticide residue.
A nutrition expert from the German consumer organization was quoted saying: “Olive oil is probably the most frequently manipulated agricultural product. It is almost impossible for consumers to know what’s in the bottle. Olive oil at the moment has an image problem. That’s unfortunate because it’s actually a very healthy and tasty food.’”
The reason that fraud is even worse among imported European olive oils in America is that the US government (FDA) does not regularly test olive oil quality. Some experts estimate that as much as 80% of imported “extra virgin” olive oil in America is fake (substandard and/or adulterated).
This latest case from Europe is another reminder of why American buyers simply cannot trust European olive oils to be what their labels claim.