The regulation of olive oil labelling and branding for food consumption isn’t all the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is involved in.
The FDA also regulates the cosmetics industry. An update to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act, called the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 died with the end of the 111th Congress (2009-2010 term). BUT! Negotiations by several for-profit and non-profit groups to reintroduce the legislation, as is, and/or in an altered state, are ongoing with current Members of Congress (the 112th Congress). These groups apparently think the reintroduction of the Safe Cosmetics Act is impending.
How does this affect the olive industry? As you have seen in recent years, olive oil is more frequently used in soaps, lotions, and other cosmetics for use by adults and children. Olive oil as a non-food commodity is a growing market. How deep the market is – is another matter.
Currently, there is a FDA regulatory exemption for soap, provided the “soap” meets the FDA’s definitions. The definitions can be found in the FDA’s article entitled “Is It a Cosmetic, a Drug, or Both? (Or Is It Soap?)“. As far as exemptions go – that’s it.
It is very important for members of the olive industry to keep an eye not only on regulations pertaining to olive and olive oil as food or pharmaceuticals, but as non-foods as well.
May the sun shine through your branches.