As much as 69% of imported extra virgin olive oil is not so virgin, according to a study by the University of California, Davis.
The U.C. Davis Olive Center, which is part of its Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, found that 10% of California made olive oil, and 69% of imported olive oil, does not meet the guidelines set up by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to be called Extra Virgin.
This finding has led to a lawsuit being filed by some well known chefs and restaurants.
Daniel Callahan, for the plaintiffs, said that many chefs have long suspected that the extra virgin olive oils they were purchasing was of an inferior quality. They now allege that the olive oils have been mixed with lower quality refined oils like hazelnut oil or lesser olive oils.
defendants in the suit include some common household names, such as: Mazola, Bertolli, Pompeian, Rachael Ray and Filippo Berio.