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Producers Question European Olive Oil Purity

By Meredith Garofalo, KEYT - KCOY - KKFX Meteorologist & Reporter, meredith.garofalo@keyt.com
Published On: Feb 18 2014 01:01:05 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 18 2014 02:49:11 PM CST
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

How pure is your olive oil? 

Some U.S. producers argue that it's not as clean as you may think.

With Americans using European olive oil more and more because it's cheap and considered more authentic, producers in the California olive industry say European olive oil filling U.S. shelves often is mislabeled and lower grade.

They're pushing the federal government to put more imported varieties under the microscope.

All this talk has prompted some local business owners to only carry local products on their shelves.

They want to avoid taking any chances plus contribute to the local economy.

"So the olives themselves are grown in California.  Produced, manufactured, just in the towns nearby.  And then we sell them straight from the producers," said Isabella Gourmet Food owner, Amy Chalker.

One congressman who also is a farmer even goes so far as suggesting that labels on imported oil say "extra rancid" rather than "extra virgin."

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