• Italy's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Seven Italian firms probed in olive oil scam

The Local · 11 Nov 2015, 11:46

Published: 11 Nov 2015 11:46 GMT+01:00

Prosecutors in Turin launched the probe following a tip-off from a specialist journal, La Stampa reported.

They carried out tests on 20 of the most popular brands of extra virgin olive oil – the highest quality you can buy - sold across Italian supermarkets and found that the labels on nine of the bottles falsely claimed to be extra virgin.

The other four producers suspected of commercial fraud are Coricelli, Santa Sabina, Prima Donna and Antica Badia.

The companies have allegedly flouted the strict rules governing the production of extra virgin olive oil, a process which is expensive and time-consuming.

But despite the complicated production procedures, extra virgin olive oil is an easy product to tamper with, making it extremely difficult for consumers to taste the difference.

Chemical tests are supposed to be carried out by producers before the highly-demanded product can be labelled and sold as extra virgin.

Italy’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry last year seized €10 million worth of fake olive oil as part of a food fraud crackdown.

“We’re closely following the investigation,” Agriculture Minister Maurizio Martina said.

Story continues below…

“For months we have been strengthening controls, particularly in view of last year’s poor harvest. It is important to protect consumers as well as the thousands of honest olive oil producers.”

SEE MORE: Like a virgin: how to spot fake Italian olive oil

 

For more news from Italy, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.it)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Italy 'held naval manoeuvres with Iran' in strategic strait
The Strait of Hormuz. File photo: AFP

The Italian ambassador called the port call "a positive sign".

Northern Italian region approves 'anti-mosque' laws
One of Italy's few purpose-built mosques, in Rome. File photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Similar laws in other regions have been scrapped for being anti-constitutional.

Former nuns to get civil union in northern Italy
The former nuns have asked for anonymity; this photo is representative only. Photo: Pexels

The nuns fell in love during a mission, and will get their civil union on Thursday.

Earthquake volunteer dies on way home from Amatrice
Amatrice was the town most severely damaged by the earthquake. Photo: AFP

The engineer had cut short his summer holiday to assist with the post-earthquake recovery.

Italy tests 3,500 children for TB after doctor diagnosed
The doctor had carried out vaccinations on thousands of small children. File photo: Pexels

The hospital stressed the tests were a "precautionary and preventative measure".

Ancient Roman coins unearthed at Japanese castle
The 4th-century copper coin found in Japan. Photo: Jiji Press/AFP

How the coins got there is a mystery.

Italy slashes growth figures ahead of crucial referendum
Matteo Renzi at a press conference last month. Photo: AFP

Italy's economy has barely grown since 1999 - hitting working and middle class voters hardest. Economists say Italy will struggle to hit even the "prudent" revised targets.

Italy professor: Students should plagiarize - teachers do
One of the university buildings. Photo: Maris Firsova

A professor at Italy's oldest university says teachers are granted "impunity" in case of plagiarism.

Pope cars auctioned off to help Syrian refugees
The cars have personalized number plates. Photo: AFP

Got a spare €9,000?

Renzi revives plan for a 'bridge to Sicily'
Renzi said the bridge would "bring Sicily closer". Photo: Sarah Murray/Flickr

The bridge was first dreamed up in the 1960's, but no prime minister has succeeded in bringing it to fruition.

Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP
Culture
Eight things you should know about Rome's Spanish Steps
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
The incredible hero dogs of Italy’s earthquake
National
Why quake-hit Amatrice will never be the same again
National
Why discontented Italians could derail their economy
Society
Keep passports safe: Typical pickpocket scams revealed
Culture
Why coffee in Italy is a culture you must taste to understand
Society
The richest families in Florence in 1427 are still rich today
Culture
So why do pasta-loving Italians live such long lives?
National
Italy's Renzi prepares for stormy autumn
Society
This 104-year-old just saw the sea for the first time
National
Should Rome give up on its 2024 Olympic dream?
Society
The Italian doctor giving hope to thousands of migrants
Culture
Ten 'Italian' dishes that don't actually exist in Italy
Sport
Five Italian athletes going for gold at the Rio Olympics
Travel
Trastevere: From a fiery past to Rome’s souvenir stand
Politics
Think Trump would be a disaster? Just ask the Italians
National
How Brexit has helped to expose Italy’s banking malaise
Politics
After Brexit, keep a close eye on Italy's Five Star Movement
Lifestyle
12 mistakes foreigners make when moving to Italy
National
Why Milan could be Europe's post-Brexit financial hub
Travel
Five crowd-free alternatives to Italy's tourist hotspots
2,524
jobs available