EU waits over Spanish olive oil scare

Spain has banned the marketing and export of a low-grade olive oil product after consignments found to contain high levels of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon benzopyrene were rejected by authorities in the Czech Republic last week. EU experts meeting on Friday asked Spain for more information on the contamination, which arises during the heat-treatment of pressed olives to produce "orujo de oliva". A member state committee will decide on further steps on 19 July, but in the meantime no EU countries are thought to have taken unilateral action. See European Commission press release.

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