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Originally published November 18 2015

Italy's top olive oil companies come under fire for defrauding customers with inferior oils

by Jennifer Lea Reynolds

(NaturalNews) If you've been eating extra virgin olive oil over other varieties thinking that you've been doing your health a favor, think again. According to ongoing investigations pertaining to numerous popular Italian olive oil brands, it appears that while you may have been buying high-quality olive oil, you might not have been consuming it.

That's right – you've been duped on both the health and financial front; recent investigations have revealed that the cheaper, more acidic kind of olive oil – which typically involves a process that uses chemicals and industrial refining – has been passed off as high-quality extra virgin olive oil, which doesn't undergo such a process. The brands under investigation are ones most of you likely have in your kitchen cabinets right now: Bertolli, Santa Sabina, Primadonna, Carapelli, Coricelli and Sasso.(1)

So much for trusting food labels and putting your faith in esteemed brands that have become a cooking staple, thinking they have your health in mind.

Natural News has reported on olive oil mislabeling and consumer deception in past

Interestingly, Natural News has reported on these issues in the past, prior to mainstream media's more recent investigation announcements.

Earlier this year, we wrote about how Deoleo USA, Inc., maker of the Bertolli and Carapelli brands, deceived consumers by labeling olive oil that was made with refined oils and cheap fillers as "extra virgin." In that instance, plaintiff Scott Koller maintained that the oils actually came from other countries, were then brought into Italy for processing, and then falsely sold to U.S. customers as premiere, healthy varieties.(2)

Additionally, even going back as far as 2012, Natural News also reported the following:

As much as 50 percent of the olive oil sold in the U.S. is not actually pure olive oil, as some brands claiming to be "extra-virgin" or "100 percent Italian," for instance, have actually been adulterated with toxic rapeseed oil, more popularly known as canola oil, soybean oil, and other low-grade oils.(3)

Therefore, while this recent news about the multiple olive oil brands that are under investigation is certainly eye-opening, it's unfortunately not entirely new. Consumer deceit abounds, and we've written about it for ages. It's a shame not only because people deserve to eat what they're paying higher prices for, but because they should also enjoy what's good for their health instead of being tricked into eating something that isn't good for them.

Consumers have been missing out on health benefits of extra virgin olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil has been linked with rapidly destroying cancer cells, reducing the risk of Alzheimer's disease, and helping to fight cellular aging and osteoporosis. In fact, the Mediterranean diet – in which olive oil is a staple – is advised for those wanting to keep cellular aging at bay. It's been shown that a diet rich in fruits, fresh fish, olive oil and vegetables is ideal for protecting cells and warding off health problems like stroke, high blood pressure and heart disease.(4,5,6)

According to Codacons, Italy's main consumer association, compensation from the companies involved should be given to those who purchased the lower quality oil. "We invite any family that bought oil from any of the firms caught up in the investigation to demand compensation of up to 5,000 euros," says the association's president, Carlo Rienzi. "If these offences are proven, the cost to consumers is enormous – not only the betrayal of trust but also the economic damage for people who have paid extra for an inferior product."

Sadly, it appears as though making things in haste and finding shortcuts that churn out products in the name of making profit, regardless of how deceitful it is, is commonplace. Elga Baviera, a biologist and expert on food safety, says, "The food production business is full of scams, notwithstanding the efforts of authorities to contain the phenomenon. It's a business worth billions of euros a year."(1)

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