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Was Olive Oil Brexit's Last Straw?

By Kerry Hart July 08, 2016 0 comments

"As part of a host of sweeping regulations put forth by the European Commission in 2013, serving olive oil in open, refillable cruets and containers in tap rooms and on restaurant tables was to be banned.

Not all countries were on board and some have been bristling against being told by EU's governing body, and its commercial olive oil producing lobbyists, how to run their businesses. The push-back on this topic represented a microcosm of some of the issues that underlined Great Britain's exit, "Brexit" vote.

Countries who favoured the new rules for serving olive oil included, not surprisingly, the territories where much of the world's quality olive oils are produced, Italy, Spain, France and Greece, among them. They are also the countries that supply, for huge commercial manufacturers, most of the world's prebottled, adulterated fakes.

Raf Casert of ABC News pointed directly to the olive oil controversy as an example of the underlying resentment that fueled the British Euroskeptics who have railed for years against what they see as the EU's excessive intrusion into daily life with a long list of petty rules.

"Here was a case in point," said Casert, "of over reach that promised to irritate everyone who loves to dip crusty bread into oil."

The goal of the measure was to set standards for a category fraught with counterfeits and controversy. They were designed to "better protect and inform consumers while ensuring the quality and authenticity of olive oils," and to stop the practice of serving products which are adulterated and cut with cheaper oils.

However, the problem hasn't been with oils served fresh in a tap room where taste-before-you-buy is a built in safeguard against fraud. It has been predominantly with prebottled product, falsely labelled as extra virgin, with false countries of origin and no indication of crush date, olive type or chemistry."

Thanks to Liquid Gold newsletter -

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