As the rise in popularity of olive oil increases, so does the incidence of its false claims, product adulteration, and misleading labels.
There is an increasing awareness of the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil. According to The Mayo Clinic, it is a tremendous source of monounsaturated fatty acid and polyphenols, and Authority Nutrition states that it helps fight a host of diseases including heart disease, cancer and obesity.
However, these benefits are only available in high quality product that meets established international standards. Compromised product, that contain dilutions or substitutions such as soybean oil, are not only lacking in quality, but they can be harmful to your health.
Class action lawsuits in the U.S. and Canada have alleged large companies and distributors have mislabeled their olive oils, and falsely represented their product. These suits claim that the terms 'extra virgin' and 'made in Italy' have been false according to CBC Radio-Canada and UC Davis, as reported in Olive Oil Times.
Clear crushing and bottling standards need to be followed for consumer protection and health. Read more about the incidence of food fraud in The Atlantic.