Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Olive Oil Scandal Comment

This is a response to my recent post on The Olive Oil Scandal. I am so delighted when I get a thoughtful and enlightening response like this that I want to give it a separate entry so that it won’t be overlooked by all you bloggers with little time and short attention spans. 😉

It certainly is disgusting. One might note that, though, that none of the above named diluters of olive oil come from Spain, by far the largest producer and exporter of the product.

Currently, in fact, the Andalucian regional government (Andalucía, in which I am an olive grower, produces over 30% of the world’s olive oil) is currently funding a project intended to identify through mass spectometry analysis the molecular ‘signature’ of all the different regional denominations of extra virgin olive oil, enabling bottlers to include this information on barcode-like labels on every bottle marketed and against which the contents could be tested. The systematic adoption of this system, when it is completed, would go along way to protect consumers from the present situation, brought on partly through the fraudulent business practices of various Italian and American producers and sellers.

Also, considering that IOOC olive oil standards have no legal force in the United States, effectively permitting virgin or lampante oil to be sold as EVOO (but not diluted with other oils), the seemingly imminent adoption of international nomenclature by the USDA would be a very positive move. It can’t come soon enough.

Charles Butler’s website, The Olive Oil Gazette, is an absolutely fascinating resource, with all kinds of listings for Olive Oil sites and all kinds of olive oil information, including an article on October 21 about the proposal for the DNA “fingerprinting” of olive oil. Here is what it says about author Charles Butler McKay:

The Olive Oil Gazette is published in Cazorla, Jaén, Spain by Charles Butler Mackay, whose Spanish birth certificate states, correctly, that he was born in Toronto, Canada. Aside from editing this news source, he owns and oversees an olive plantation that has been in his family for a century and a half.

Thank you for your input!

Meanwhile, I don’t want to be sceptical. For a very good price, I found the below olive oil at the Sultan Center, and the lable says all the right things:

Cholesterol Free
Less than 1% acidity
Cold Pressed
It even has an expiration date

And it says it is a product of Syria. Because I am sceptical, I bought it because I thought it had a pretty label:


October 28, 2007 - Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Cooking, Customer Service, Diet / Weight Loss, ExPat Life, Health Issues, Kuwait, Lies, Living Conditions | , , ,


  1. Charles Butler’s website is informative. About grocery shopping, I’ll end with an inky-piny-ponky choice!

    Comment by Joel Robinson | October 28, 2007 | Reply

  2. Let me know how you find the taste. Personally, I don’t like Middle Eastern olive oil.

    Comment by Stinni | October 28, 2007 | Reply

  3. Interesting info, thanks!
    A friend gave me a bottle of olive oil, in the US, from Palestine. It was lovely, very fruity and aromatic. Anyway, they have a website: Not to get into politics, but they are trying to help the poor Palestinian farmers, and that is a good thing. Check it out.

    Comment by carly | October 28, 2007 | Reply

  4. Joel – I wait for the day when there are standards that are enforced, so we aren’t eating cheap hazlenut oil and thinking we are eating the best olive oil! Inky – pinky!

    Stinni – I like this one. It is fruity, olivy. I don’t like the ones that are so refined they no longer taste like olive.

    Carly – I love the web site! Did you notice, however, that they are all sold out of olive oil?

    Comment by intlxpatr | October 28, 2007 | Reply

  5. That’s not good, but maybe it means good business for them. But when they get some in, do try it. It is very nice!

    Comment by carly | October 28, 2007 | Reply

  6. […] wrote an interesting post today on Olive Oil Scandal CommentHere’s a quick […]

    Pingback by Mildenglish.Com » Olive Oil Scandal Comment | October 28, 2007 | Reply

  7. Carly, I think being sold out means they can’t even keep up with the demand. That’s a very good thing! I would love to try some! Meanwhile, if you find a particularly good one here, let us know, ok?

    Comment by intlxpatr | October 29, 2007 | Reply

  8. You need to go to Syria to get the good olive oil, from the mountainous regions. We have several types and even the “first squeeze” ones, usually very very dark in color and quite morbidly strong in taste (wonderful with cheese and yogurt)

    Comment by KJ | October 29, 2007 | Reply

  9. Thanks for your kind words,


    Comment by Charles Butler | October 29, 2007 | Reply

  10. we can produce you modern machine and mould

    Comment by MR. MUHAMMED | May 13, 2008 | Reply

  11. My wife and I will be in your area of Spain the week of January 19-24. We wish to learn all we can about the olive business-can you point us in a direction?.

    Comment by John Creer | January 3, 2009 | Reply

  12. LOL, Mr. Creer, I don’t live anywhere near Spain, I live in KUWAIT!

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 3, 2009 | Reply

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