Olive & Oil 07/11/2011

The battle between Australia and the International Oil Council

The standards of the Australian olive oils confuse the consumers and hamper commerce. The IOC seeks for the help of Codex alimentarius and WHO to isolate Australia

There is an ongoing war between IOC and Australia. This is a hard fight where Australia is trying to evade the rules on olive oil dictated by the Mediterranean countries that produce the 97% of the oil worldwide.
The first act of this war was the issuing of its own rules on commercial standards, denominations and reference parameters by Australia.
When these rules were still a draft, the IOC already criticized strongly the evasion by the international standards dictated by IOC and Codex alimentarius.

After a first kind missive inviting Australia to reconsider this action, the same that was done by New Zeeland, too, now that those ideas are laws the international community strongly accuses Australia to confound the consumers with misleading definitions, out of the international standards, such as “pure” or “light”, and also with misleading chemical parameters (such as the pyropheophytins and diglycerides), rejected even by the Australian chemists as not secure and repeatable enough.

The stronger accusation by IOC concerns the consumer protection, since the very high limit for campesterol decided by Australian rules would allow many frauds, since its high concentration indicates the presence of seed oils mixed with the olive oils.

Now the IOC is seeking for the help of Codex alimentarius and WHO. IOC is inviting these organizations to help it fighting “these unfair commerce practices and the creation of market barriers, in order to obtain a more transparent market, to fight frauds and to protect the consumers through the harmonization and the observation of international standards”.

di R. T.