Olive oil consumption in the US is growing fast; we went from using 47 million gallons in 1998 to 79 million gallons in 2008. However, the US has no rules or guidelines in place to keep less-than-honest producers from adulterating "olive oil" with cheaper oils of different origin and lower quality. This has led the industry to look upon America as "a dumping ground for crappy olive oil" (Consumerist). Of course, if you know your sources you can find phenomenal olive oil in the states, but as a Connecticut crackdown
proved, many consumers don't know any better.
This October the USDA will introduce new guidelines to help regulate the olive oil on our shelves. But they are just that-guidelines, not rules or laws. Many small olive oil producers are excited by the guidelines, while others remain skeptical of whether the suggesting guidelines will produce any real change.