we have a chain of controls for what ends up on our table to be eaten that is very effective.
The US has something similar called the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). If I recall correctly it was established around the 1900's because of all the tainted meat being peddled. However FDA it not perfect as people cheat. We had a company called King Groceries (a large chain) which was taking bad meat and using bleach to try and extend its life or at least visual appearance to the consumer -- around the 1990s as I recall. They eventually got caught.
If my readings are correct Italy itself has a big problem with the mafia tampering with Virgin Olive oil so who knows what's in a bottle?.
While I agree China could do a lot more, so could the US on a lot of things. My understanding Europe is proactive in that someone has to prove a claim (ie. the item works) prior to it being sold to the public. Not in the US. They let people peddle most anything (diet pills and supplements for example), but rely on the legal system to deal with it. So if harm is done, one can only get satisfaction AFTER they've been harmed, instead of Not being harmed in the first place. The primary objective for this seems to be to keep people employed so those in power remain in power.
well, you know......if tomorrow morning the south of italy and its mafias were annexed to another country, the majority of people in the North would dance in the streets for the next three days for how sad they would be. That said, what reaches the supermarket here is super controlled. If someone tries something illegal, he doesn' t go very far. On the food italy is serious, because consumers don' t forgive. It's in the interest of food companies to be serious on their internal controls because if external state controls find something wrong, the media will shout so loud that those companies will sell nothing for one hundred years. Then if some artisanal company in the south mixes italian olives with greek olives to make oil, what counts more is that the olives are not chemically treated more than how much our laws permit. And controls will find any chemical part above permitted limits. You have to consider that great companies producing olive oil are located in Tuscany which is central italy, so the problem of mixtures is marginal. At the supermarket I buy original olive oil from Lake Garda which is 100% made with local olives. Lake Garda is a strange thing. It was created by a glacier that retreated at the end of the last glacial era. The lake is located at a height which corresponds to Southern Canada, but close to it the trees of olives, survive. In twenty minutes by car you reach the mountains around and there you find the trees of Northern Europe, which you find also in the plain just South of the Lake. In other words the Lake provides a micro climate which permits the cultivation of olives which at this latitude would be unthinkable if it wasn' t for the Lake