Rome

Italian oil producers angry with European Commission change

Rules force labels in restaurants

Italian oil producers angry with European Commission change

Rome, May 23 - Italian olive oil producers reacted angrily to a decision Thursday by the European Union which once again permits unlabeled olive oil to be used in restaurants and cafes. Producers said the latest decision struck a blow against quality oil by allowing business to put all sorts of inferior products before customers. Only last week, the European Commission - the executive branch of the EU - ruled that restaurants could only serve oil to customers in non-refillable bottles with proper content labeling. Refillable bottles and jugs are a staple on European restaurant tables for diners who want to douse bread or salads. The Commission said this new regulation would prevent restaurants from serving low quality oil and improve hygiene. But in an about-face, the Commission said Thursday that it was yanking the new proposal because it was not popular with member states. That has angered Italian oil producers. "Once again we find that Europe has chosen to reject a rule supported by as many as 15 countries, including major producers such as Italy and Spain," said the Italian Farmers Confederation (CIA).

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