US government looking to clamp down on counterfeit olive oil

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Producers have been worried over the rising price of the product since drought and disease caused poor harvests in southern Europe.

The concerns of the paper also went beyond consumer rights. It continued: “Some products labelled as olive oil may contain seed oil, which poses a serious health risk to consumers who are allergic to seed oil.”

The report then directed the Food and Drug Administration to “to take a sampling of imported olive oil to determine if it is adulterated or misbranded.”

But olive oil is far from the only food product to be mis-sold to consumers. Earlier this year, Interpol and Europol made some of the biggest ever seizures of fake food in a sweeping operation in 57 countries across the world.

In Italy, officers found 85 tonnes of olives which had been doused in copper sulphate solutions to enhance their colour. In Australia, tests done by officers to 450 kg of honey revealed it had been blended or adulterated, violating food standards.

In Eastern Europe, investigators in discovered fake chocolates, sweets and non-alcoholic sparkling wine marketed towards children. Housed in locations in Hungary, Italy, Lithuania and Romania, the goods were intended for export to West Africa.

False labelling also proved to be a major concern for the authorities and was found to affect products globally. Also in Australia, a batch of peanuts had been repackaged and labelled as pine nuts. This posed a significant public health risk — peanuts can induce anaphylactic shock, potentially lethal to people allergic to them.

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