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Italy: Antitrust body probes suspect extra virgin olive oil

 |  November 15, 2015

Italy’s antitrust authority launched an investigation on Friday into seven companies suspected of passing off lower-quality olive oil as the extra virgin variety prized for its rich flavour and health benefits.

Tests by police this week suggested oil sold as extra virgin by some of Italy’s best-known brands may not meet strict labelling requirements, the authority said in a statement.

The probe comes after prosecutors in the northern city of Turin investigated the same companies on suspicion of commercial fraud and false labelling to deceive consumers.

Being put under investigation does not imply guilt and does not necessarily lead to charges, but the accusations are a blow to an industry that prides itself on quality.

Italy, the world’s second largest producer of olive oil after Spain, exports hundreds of thousands of litres a year, contributing to an overall turnover that agriculture group Coldiretti estimates at 2 billion euros ($2.15 billion).

The agriculture ministry has demanded clarity to protect consumers and producers.

Full content: Daily Mail

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