Olive Oil

Inside the Law: Olive oil maker settles class-action lawsuit

June 08, 2018 - 3:30 am

By Amy E. Feldman, Judge Technology Solutions​

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- The only thing better than being virgin is being extra virgin, at least according to your mother, I mean, a lawsuit filed against the maker of Bertolli olive oil, based on the issue of whether Bertolli misrepresented the fact that it was extra virgin. 

Most of us are not really sure what that means in any context, but particularly not in relationship to olive oil.  

Unlike some food labeling requirements, in the U.S. there is no legally regulated definition of what extra virgin olive oil means. 

That said, consumer protection laws state that a company can’t mislead the public into thinking they are buying a higher quality product than they really are. 

So according to the International Olive Oil Counsel, extra virgin olive oil is the highest quality olive oil, and is obtained only from olives, has not undergone any treatment other than washing, decanting, centrifuging, and filtering, and has a free acidity of no more than .8 grams per 100 grams. Whatever that means. 

In any event, Bertolli has now agreed to pay $7 million and alter its packaging and testing procedures to satisfy the plaintiffs...and your mom.