Chefs sue over purported virginity of olive oil

In this photo from Friday, May 28, 2010, olive grower Dean Griggs holds up olive oil he produces in Carmel Valley, Calif. The U.S. Department of Agriculture adopted scientifically verifiable standards for oil oil terms like "extra virgin" in April. They will start enforcing them in October, just in time for the harvest of trees that are now in full flower. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

August 4, 2010 7:07:07 PM PDT
A group of cooks, including one from Bravo's "Top Chef" reality competition, is suing olive oil distributors and retailers in California over a recent study that found some oils were falsely marketed as extra-virgin.

The lawsuit filed Monday is based on a recent University of California, Davis, study that found that 69 percent of imported oils sampled did not meet international standards for the extra-virgin title.

The lawsuit alleges that many olive oils are mislabeled so the costs can be marked up for consumers. It named 10 major olive oil brands, including Bertolli, Rachael Ray and Carapelli, and major supermarket chains and big box stores.

Plaintiffs include "Top Chef" contestant David Martin and several prominent Southern California restaurateurs.


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