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U.S. olive oil industry pushes to test imported oil

U.S. olive oil industry pushes to test imported oil

E.V.O.O.: Americans are pouring European oil more often because it's cheaper and viewed as more authentic than the domestic competition. Photo: clipart.com

MARY CLARE JALONICK, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s a pressing matter for the tiny U.S olive oil industry.

Americans are pouring European oil more often because it’s cheaper and viewed as more authentic than the domestic competition.

And that’s pitting U.S. producers against importers of the European oil. Some liken the battle to the California wine industry’s struggles to gain acceptance decades ago.

The tiny California olive industry says European olive oil filling U.S. shelves often is mislabeled and lower grade. They’re pushing the federal government to give more scrutiny to imported varieties.

One congressman who also is a farmer even goes so far as suggesting that labels on imported oil say “extra rancid” rather than “extra virgin.”

Stricter standards might help American producers grab more market share from the dominant Europeans.

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