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This story made my jaw drop

24 replies [Last post]
By Sarahfran1 on Thu, 08-09-07, 23:55

[url="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12571726"]http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12571726[/url]

You have to listen to the story to hear the bit that alarmed me. But the gist of it is, in order to make bigger profits from the popularity of olive oil, manufacturers commonly dilute the olive oil with other oils, and one of the most common replacements is hazelnut oil! And of course it wouldn't be labeled as such since they're trying to pass it off as real olive oil.

I wonder how many people's mystery reactions are from something like this?

Sarah

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By Mom2Ian on Fri, 08-10-07, 14:44

Oh my!!! It very well could be the cause of Ian

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By Amyd2007 on Fri, 08-10-07, 16:02

Yikes this really chaps my hide. So this is for European manufacturers... are there any American brands that are reputable? Or are they getting their supply from abroad, thus still tapping into a corrupt supply?

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By Sarahfran1 on Fri, 08-10-07, 16:10

Quote:Originally posted by Amyd2007:
[b]Yikes this really chaps my hide. So this is for European manufacturers... are there any American brands that are reputable? Or are they getting their supply from abroad, thus still tapping into a corrupt supply?

[/b]

I'd imagine that most olive oils produced in the US are safe because they would be subject to more testing and inspection, but that's just a guess--I never even thought to look into the safety of olive oil!

Sarah
Sarah

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By ajas_folks on Fri, 08-10-07, 16:58

Wow.

Nothing like integrity, huh?

The hazelnut introduction to olive oil makes me certain we should test kids specifically for hazelnut this fall. With first child, besides eating tons of peanut while preg & breastfeeding, I also ate lots of hazelnuts/filberts. Sigh.

------------------
~Eli[b]Z[/b]abeth,
Mother to 2:
DD age 5, NKA, treated as though PA/TNA
DS age 8, PA, possible TNA, Latex, legumes?
(PA diagnosed & ana reaction 1999)
Member here since 2000

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By Going Nuts on Fri, 08-10-07, 17:39

My DH actually woke me up to show me this article in The New Yorker the other night. Bertoli, which is certainly a common, popular, mainstream brand here was one of the brands mentioned. I nearly had a coronary.

Lovely, just freakin' lovely. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img]

Amy

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By perpetually perplexed on Fri, 08-10-07, 22:52

Wow,

Unbelievable, DS is PA only but we avoid TN too. We have been using only Bertoli for 7 YEARS and haven't had a problem. We switched right after DS was DX'd. I am confused as whether to continue to use it or find another.

PP

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By lilpig99 on Sat, 08-11-07, 00:39

lovely.

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By ceross on Mon, 08-13-07, 04:18

Sarahfran,
Thanks for sharing this information. DD is allergic to hazelnuts as well and olive oil is a staple in our house.

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By Lori Anne on Mon, 08-13-07, 04:20

My dd is also allergic to hazelnuts. Thanks for the info.

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By JeannieLino on Mon, 08-13-07, 14:16

Wouldn't the new labeling laws mean that the companies would have to disclose what is in their products?

It is bad enough that I worry about what is printed on the labels, now I have to guess if the labels are leaving out things?

Has anyone tried calling the olive oil companies? Will they tell the truth?

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By Greenlady on Mon, 08-13-07, 17:40

The allergen labeling laws have an exemption for "highly refined" oils, so FALCPA labeling probably doesn't apply here.

However, FDA also has previous labeling laws for "major ingredients" which should apply here - definitely need to read more about this.

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By Corvallis Mom on Mon, 08-13-07, 22:17

I can't quite fathom that this [i]could[/i] be true.

Nut oils (other than in regions where they are locally produced and therefore endemic) are actually quite expensive. Much more so than olive oils.

(Peanut oil is an exception, probably, due to its widespread cultivation in the Southern US)

But I just don't think tree nut oils are going to be a common adulterant in olive oil. Corn or canola? Oh, yes-- THAT I would believe. But Hazelnut and walnut oils are quite the gourmet commodity-- worth far more than 'olive oil.' In addition, walnut and hazelnut growing areas are in cooler climates than olive growing areas, too.

In other words, just from an economic standpoint, it doesn't add up. KWIM?

Peanut adulteration, OTOH.... that would make [i]some[/i] sense. If it didn't have a fairly distinctive flavor of its own, that is. (Which, come to think of it, so do other nut oils.)

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By Sarahfran1 on Tue, 08-14-07, 00:21

Quote:Originally posted by Corvallis Mom:
[b]I can't quite fathom that this [i]could[/i] be true.

Nut oils (other than in regions where they are locally produced and therefore endemic) are actually quite expensive. Much more so than olive oils.

(Peanut oil is an exception, probably, due to its widespread cultivation in the Southern US)

But I just don't think tree nut oils are going to be a common adulterant in olive oil. Corn or canola? Oh, yes-- THAT I would believe. But Hazelnut and walnut oils are quite the gourmet commodity-- worth far more than 'olive oil.' In addition, walnut and hazelnut growing areas are in cooler climates than olive growing areas, too.

In other words, just from an economic standpoint, it doesn't add up. KWIM?

Peanut adulteration, OTOH.... that would make [i]some[/i] sense. If it didn't have a fairly distinctive flavor of its own, that is. (Which, come to think of it, so do other nut oils.)[/b]

It makes sense when they are trying to pass it off as extra virgin olive oil, which comes only from the first pressing and has an acidity rate of .8% or less. EVOO is rare and expensive. In Europe, hazelnuts are cheap and plentiful; in fact, you see them used in candies in kind of the same frequency that you see peanuts used here. EVOO has a kind of nutty flavor and hazelnut oil is often listed as a substitute when EVOO is unavailable or too expensive.

You're right that it doesn't make sense to blend the oil with hazelnut oil when you're just bottling the cheap olive oils that are most common in the US--but most of these aren't EVOO.

Check out the price differences here: [url="http://www.igourmet.com/Shoppe/prodview.aspx?cat=6&subcat=Other+Oils&prod=686&source=pepperjam*google*hazelnut+oil&gclid=CNKTntrc840CFRyOFQodakeeLA"]http://www.igourmet.com/Shoppe/prodview....CFRyOFQodakeeLA[/url]

Sarah

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By Lindajo on Tue, 08-14-07, 06:12

Was there an article that listed the brand names of the oils? I'd like to know what other brands besides Bertolli are involved.

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By LisaM on Tue, 08-14-07, 14:17

!!!

I had heard about this before . . . but I thought this was a *past* issue!

Extra virgin olive oil turns solid in the fridge. I'm assuming that other refined oils don't. Can anyone confirm that this is a reliable test?

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By on Wed, 08-15-07, 00:53

I heard back from Bertolli today. The response is no surprise really, I didn't even expect a reply. Here it is and no, I haven't called yet. Seems rather pointless but I may do it anyway tomorrow just to see what they say:

Hi Barbara,

Thanks so much for writing!

We are sorry we cannot assist you with this inquiry. Please contact
the
Unilever U.S. Consumer Response Center at 1-800-908-9789. A
representative will be more than happy to assist you.

Kind regards,
Your friends at Bertolli

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By carpediem on Sun, 08-19-07, 07:37

Oh, great; I hate Unilever. They never give straight answers. Good luck with that one.

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By carpediem on Sun, 08-19-07, 07:44

We use Star. I have called before, but has anyone heard differently that this brand isn't safe? Also, is this on the list of brands which might be diluted with hazelnut oil. I couldn't find the list in the article.

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By lakeswimr on Sun, 08-19-07, 17:08

We use bionature organic extra virgin olive oil. They are imported by a company in the USA that says bionature is made on dedicated equip in a facility dedicated to just their products (they also make balsamic vinegar and pastas.) DS has always been fine with their oil. The price is good for their stuff compared to many other organic evoo companies.

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By nosoyforme on Mon, 08-20-07, 19:52

Would the diluted oil still say 100% olive oil on the bottle?

------------------
Allergic to all soy, all nuts, peas, beans, sunflower. Started at age 40.

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By Sarahfran1 on Tue, 08-21-07, 14:31

Quote:Originally posted by nosoyforme:
[b]Would the diluted oil still say 100% olive oil on the bottle?

[/b]

Yes, it would. The article about this wasn't focusing (or even mentioning) actual *danger* from the diluted oils. The point of the article was just to show the illegal things that are happening in the highly prized and highly profitable extra virgin olive oil market--manufacturers are passing off as EVOO things that aren't EVOO because they want to increase their profits. They are doing something they know is illegal, so of course they aren't going to label it as what it actually is!

Sarah

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By Kelly H on Tue, 09-11-07, 21:38

I have heard from my other group KWFA that Bertolli was safe. But I stopped using Olive Oil altogether and just use Wesson Canola Oil which is safe. I don't want to take any chances. It's scary.

------------------
Kelly H

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By MJMD on Thu, 09-13-07, 21:04

My jaw is hanging open here! My son, who became allergic to P at 18 months (and we avoided TN after that), always tested negative for his yearly TN Caprast. When he turned 5, all the sudden there was hazelnut & brazil nut, along w/cashew & pistachio. I thought it very odd, but now it makes more sense. I used Bertolli religiously.

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By April in KC on Thu, 09-13-07, 23:55

If you have been using Bertoli, would you consider saving it and having it tested?

Yikes - what a liability for the manufacturer.

I have two bottles of Bertoli in my pantry and it makes me upset to think that I may have been giving my children nut oils. What were they thinking?

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