Recently, a conviction was registered against an olive oil distribution company in the Toronto Court of Justice for two counts of violating the Food and Drugs Act, and the company was fined a total of $7,500.

The charges were as a result of a consumer complaint filed in March of 2006 which the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) investigated and found that various brands of so-called virgin olive oil contained a high concentration of sunflower and/or soybean oils. CFIA inspectors removed about 144 bottles of the product later that year.

The selling of mis-labelled olive oil is in contravention of sections 5(1) and 6.1 of the Food and Drugs Act. The CFIA is responsible for enforcing a number of acts and regulations thereby protecting consumers from the marketing of products that do not meet prescribed standards.

The following basic food labelling requirements are explained in the CFIA’s Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising.

• Common name,
• Net quantity declaration,
• Dealer name and address,
• List of ingredients,
• Nutrition Facts table, and
• Durable life date.

This Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising is available at:

Additional information concerning this and other recent developments is available from our technical consulting group.