The US is not the only country dealing with fraud found in imported olive oil. In a February publication, Germany’s watchdog group, Stiftung Warentest, found that half of the 26 extra virgin olive oils they tested were not actually extra virgin. In 5 of the olive oils coming from Greece and Portugal they found high levels of oil hydrocarbons possibly coming from motor fumes. They recommended that the sales of these olive oils cease immediately. The rest of the defective oils came from Spain and Italy. They also found that 4 out of the 6 organic oils they tested were deficient..
Apparently these brands are not sold in the US, but it points to the greater systemic problem of large olive oil producers unscrupulously cutting costs and exporting the oil. Wherever fraudulent oil is priced below the cost of producing authentic olive oil, honest producers suffer. Fortunately, more and more consumers are becoming aware of these practices and are beginning to recognize the difference between fraudulent products and real extra virgin olive oil.