Do you love the First Amendment but detest Dr. Oz? What about fraudulent olive oil? Read on!
Baylen Linnekin writes:
Last week, a Georgia state judge dismissed a lawsuit filed against talk-show host Dr. Oz over claims made on his show last year that much of the olive oil sold in U.S. grocery stores is fraudulent. The suit alleged that Oz wrongly disparaged the corrupt olive oil industry.
The lawsuit was brought against Oz by an industry trade group, the New Jersey-based North American Olive Oil Association (NAOOA), under Georgia’s so-called veggie libel law. It’s one of about a dozen states with these awful laws—which allow a party to sue for damages if a person allegedly disparages their agricultural products—on the books.
Oz won in court thanks to Georgia’s anti-SLAPP law. Such laws gives people who speak out on issues of public concern a useful tool to counter lawsuits that seek to intimidate them into silence. (“SLAPP” is an acronym that stands for “strategic lawsuit against public participation.”)
Several domestic olive oil brands had also been sued alongside Oz.
Fraud in the olive oil business is, in fact, a longstanding problem.