As many olive oil suppliers worldwide know, there is an increasing amount of inspections by the US FDA. The FDA is looking for several pesticides that are not on the Environmental Protection Agency Approved List. They are:

  • Chlorpyrifos
  • Tebuconazole
  • Endosulfan
  • Piperonly Butoxide
  • Cypermethrine

On the EPA list these pesticides do NOT have an established MRL. Therefore if tested they must be NON DETECT to 10 PPB (Billion). All the pesticides we currently test under our IOC third party lab are tested to PPM. (Million).

The FDA relies on the EPA list of approved pesticides, and the EPA only has three pesticides approved under olive oil:

  • Pyriproxyfen 2.0
  • Buprofezin 4.8
  • Chlorantraniliprole 40

A Standard Import Contract has been and always adheres to ALL imports, having to pass FDA in order to enter the country. In order for AMD to pay for goods, the product MUST BE released by US FDA.

Since we do not know when, where and if FDA will take samples; we cannot be 100% sure of entry into the US; therefore payment. It is YOUR decision whether you are going to ship product into the US.

In the small instances that AMD may have paid you (the supplier) BEFORE FDA release, the supplier (you) agree to reimburse AMD for the monies paid:

  1. For the Product if already paid.
  2. For the Import Costs on shipping the product.
  3. For the Sampling and Retesting Costs.
  4. For the Re-Export of the product if denied entry.

We recommend that you (supplier) have your product tested by a third party lab for these specific pesticides before shipment to the US. We also recommend that the supplier have a full battery of IOC tests as well to compliment these FDA pesticide requests.
You must know that FDA is testing extra virgin, virgin, pure olive oil, refined olive oil and olive pomace oil. The full range of oil is subject to this requirement. We have not heard of any rejections on any oil other than Extra Virgin. But so far, this sampling by FDA has been limited to several US ports and has not gone nationwide. It is our GUESS, not our hope, that it will shortly.
Many in the industry read or learned that about 98 containers were tested and rejected by FDA. We do not want any of our suppliers to be subject to this treatment by FDA, for many many reasons. If your oil is found to be in violation of this pesticide residue, here is what occurs:

  1. IF the oil is found not to be in compliance, you will be allowed to retest the oil at an approved FDA lab to confirm results.
  2. IF oil is again in violation, the goods will be rejected by FDA and will have to be re-exported OUT of the US.
  3. The shipper will be put on IMPORT ALERT. From that day forward ALL the supplier’s shipments will be tested 100 % in ALL ports for pesticides.
  4. The supplier will have to advise HOW this breach of the HACCP took place, where – how – why.
  5. The supplier will report a corrective action plan to the FDA for their approval.
  6. Once the FDA approves the corrective action, the FDA will test a certain amount of entries over a period of time (NOT FROM ONE BILL OF LADING). IF all those entries pass without incident, the supplier will be taken off import alert.

We have a company in mind to help our suppliers through this process. Please let us know if you need this company’s name.

While this is going on, AMD is trying to put together a coalition to go to the manufacturer of the pesticide and petition them to put these specific ones on the EPA approved list.
We are going to try and petition the FDA to take the limit to PPM, since these pesticides are used on other food products.

AMD is also testing all our purchases for these pesticides before shipment. But ultimately, it is the Shipper’s decision whether to ship or not.
Which is why we wanted to get this MEMO to your desk in order to clarify most of the information and questions that are out there.

Donald Griego