Chinese firms ‘misled customers over olive oil in products’

Companies inflated the amount of the expensive oil they said was in their cooking oils, state TV reports

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 April, 2018, 2:16pm
UPDATED : Monday, 02 April, 2018, 2:40pm

Three Chinese cooking oil producers have been accused by state TV of making misleading claims about the amount of more expensive olive oil in their products.

The report aired on CCTV on Sunday said the three firms in Fujian province sell blended oil, but have misled customers about the percentage of olive oil in the products.

More expensive types of cooking oil, including olive oil, have become increasingly popular with Chinese consumers as they are deemed healthier.

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The latest allegations come after a string of cases involving the sale of recycled, used cooking oil, dubbed “gutter oil”, in China.

The TV report said one company, Fujian Xi Hai Grains and Oils, sold a blended product which it said contained 5 per cent olive oil, but bottles were far too cheap to contain the advertised amount of the more expensive oil.

Another firm, the Tianshunliang oil company, sold a product billed as containing 6 per cent olive oil, but really containing only 2 per cent.

A third firm sold a product said to have 6 per cent olive oil, but it contained only 3 per cent.

All the companies had branding on the packaging saying their oil contained “extra virgin oil” or “a taste of olive” with much smaller font stating the product was, in fact, blended oil.

The sales director of Fujian Xi Hai Grains and Oils, Luo Dingfa, told CCTV: “My bottom line is that no one will die from eating this … I can live with my conscience.”

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A company manager at Tianshunliang, Li Mingdi, said: “Olive oil is very expensive. You can’t expect a lot with the price we are selling for.”

Calls made to the firms by the South China Morning Post went unanswered.

The report did not say whether the companies would face any punishment.