US District Court awards Deoleo permanent injunction against False and Misleading information circulated online

2018-11-28 00:00 1430

Nov. 28, 2018, DALLAS /PRNewswire/ -- Deoleo, the world's leading olive oil producer recently received two legal victories concerning the publication and subsequent sharing of false and misleading information related to its products. These milestone moments halt the dissemination of defamatory online articles that were circulated through social media to more than a million consumers.

On November 15, a Minnesota Court entered judgement and ordered a permanent injunction against further publication or dissemination of false and misleading information circulated on social media by Innovision Health Media who operate Natural Solutions Magazine. The judge order stated that the statements published about Bertolli and Carapelli olive oils were false and misleading and permanently restrained Innovison from directly or indirectly publishing these claims effective immediately. The misleading and defamatory claims at the center of these online articles originated from a 2010 study conducted by the University of California at Davis which has since been heavily refuted as false and misleading by olive oil councils and experts from around the world.

In a separate victory the prior week on November 8, 2018, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed claims made by plaintiff Kevin Fahey who sought to revive claims that Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil is not what it claims to be. The judge noted that Fahey's argument that Bertolli oil was mislabeled was based entirely on the 2010 University of California study 8 years earlier and the Court stated that "This meagre factual content is not enough for the court to draw the reasonable inference that Deoleo is liable for the misconduct alleged". The judge pointed out that the court would have to make a series of dubious assumptions to even consider Fahey's claim. Given the fact that olive oil is bound to vary somewhat from lot to lot, year to year and season to season, the judge "queried why tests done in 2010 on Bertolli EVOO should have any bearing on its product in 2018".  

As The Olive Oil Times states: "While on the one hand, the granting of Deoleo's Motion to Dismiss rested on Fahey's almost total lack of evidence to support his, let alone 'the people of Washington D.C.'s' claim, the tone of the grant would suggest that this bandwagon just may have come to a screeching judicial halt and that the effects of the often-cited 2010 Davis study may have run their course".

This victory comes on the heels of a comprehensive global campaign mounted this year by Deoleo to address these inaccurate claims and subsequent distribution of misinformation.

Deoleo's Global Chief Commercial Officer Miguel De Jaime commented: "As the world's leading olive oil producer, we take matters of quality very seriously. The misinformation and defamatory tactics in recent years have been deliberately used to confuse and distract consumers. The United States is a key market for Deoleo, and we will continue our efforts to lead the industry by example. This includes working with government agencies and key industry leaders to advocate for enforceable quality regulations. Extra Virgin olive oil is a carefully crafted high-quality and natural product with unique health benefits. We will therefore continue to invest to ensure that the product is held with the high esteem it deserves and not turned into a commodity."

About Deoleo

Deoleo is a global leader in olive oil production with over 100 years' experience in the olive oil industry. Deoleo has top selling and award winning brands in Spain, Italy and the United States. Deoleo food products are now distributed to over 50 countries through the brands such as Carbonell, Hojiblanca, Koipe, Koipesol, Bertolli, Carapelli and Sasso. At its core, Deoleo commits to continue creating exceptional quality olive oil, which remains at the heart of the business.

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Source: Deoleo