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article imageItalian firms probed in olive oil scam

By Owen Weldon     Nov 12, 2015 in Business
Turin - Prosecutors in Turin are probing seven Italian firms, including Carapelli, Bertolli and Sasso. The probe stems from allegations that the firms falsely sold olive oil products as "extra virgin."
A tip-off from a specialist journal is what prompted prosecutors to launch the investigation.
Tests were carried out on 20 popular brands of extra virgin olive oil, which is the highest quality you can buy, sold at supermarkets across Italy. The tests revealed nine bottles claimed to be extra virgin, even though they weren't.
Coricellia, Prima Donna, Santa Sabina and Antica Badia are the other producers suspected of committing commercial fraud.
Rosario Trefiletti, the president of Federconsumatori, a consumer association, said the companies' deceit has caused an enormous amount of damage, and not just for consumers. Trefiletti said the deceit is bad for the entire country and for the image of products that are made in the country.
Italy's agriculture minister, Maurizio Martina, said it was important for the investigation to move forward in order to protect both customers and honest olive oil producers.
On average, extra virgin oil costs about a third more than ordinary oil. Extra virgin oil is made by crushing the olives shortly after they are picked and it doesn't involve chemicals or industrial refining.
Ordinary olive oil is made with the aid of chemicals or heat, and it has less flavor.
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