AMS No. 039-10
Jimmie Turner (202) 720-8998
Billy Cox (202) 720-8998
WASHINGTON, April 27, 2010 – The U. S. Department of Agriculture is revising the U.S. grade standards for olive oil.
The California Olive Oil Council, a trade association of olive oil producers, petitioned USDA to revise the current U.S. grade standards to conform to current industry standards commonly accepted in the United States and abroad. These revised standards will provide a common language for trade and provide consumers more assurance of the quality of olive oil that they purchase.
The revised standards include objective criteria for the various grades of olive oil and olive-pomace oil, including definitions for extra virgin olive oil, virgin olive oil, olive oil, refined olive oil, and olive pomace oil.
This revision could potentially affect importers of olive oil and more than 500 domestic olive oil producers and growers. In 2008, U.S. olive oil production was 500,000 gallons (about 3.8 million pounds). Domestic olive oil consumption is roughly 454 million pounds per year, mostly imported.
For more information, contact Chere L. Shorter, Processed Products Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA, Stop 0247, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-0247; by email, firstname.lastname@example.org; or fax, (202) 690-1527.
Electronic copies of the revised grade standards are available at www.regulations.gov or www.ams.usda.gov/processedinspection. Copies of the notice are available from the same addresses.
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