e.tv joins fight against cancer
Aug 1, 2012
Partnerships Strengthen CANSA’s Life-Saving Work
Jul 26, 2012
Click here to read the media release CANSA rejects canola oil chain e-mail.Introduction
On the 12th of July 2000 I received an e-mail containing very negative aspects of Canola Oil. I decided to analyse the veracity of these statements because the Cancer Association of South Africa has identified Canola Oil as a possible food item that could help to reduce the incidence of cancer due to the presence of omega-3-fatty acids. These fats are deficient in the average Western diet and it is thought that the diet should contain a balance of omega-6- and omega-3-fatty acids for optimum health.
Using the Copernic 2000 search engine and the search term "Canola Oil" I retrieved 70 websites. One of these, www.naturalhealthinfo.com contained an article by John Thomas on Canola Oil. This article contained the same statements as were circulated in the e-mail. I also contacted firstname.lastname@example.org, and requested further information. I received an official statement by Prof Bruce MacDonald of the Department of Nutrition of the University of Manitoba in Canada from Dorothy Long as well as her personal remarks. According to these documents, a Mr Thomas in a "health magazine called Perceptions" in 1995 made the original "attack" on Canola Oil.
In order to analyse the statements of Mr Thomas I will place them in a table on the left, with rebuttals on the right. Many of the statements were checked against the prestigious Medline site, which contains 11 million medical abstracts. The Medline site address is www3.ncbi.nlm.gov/Entrez/medline.htmlAttack on Canola oil and rebuttals
Statement by John Thomas
Canola oil comes from the rapeseed, which is part of the mustard family of plants
This is correct, except that Canola oil is from a special variety of rape which is not chemically identical to the common rape plant.
Rape is the most toxic of all food plants
I could find nothing to support this statement. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica website, www.britannica.com, rape seed oil is native to Europe where it is used in cooking, in soap, margarine, as a lamp fuel as a lubricant and the seeds as bird feed. No mention is made of toxicity in Medline.
Rape is a weed. Insects won't eat it. It is deadly poisonous
Not support found for these statements.
Oil from rape is hundred times more toxic than soy oil
No evidence could be found for this statement.
Rape oil is industrial oil and does not belong in the body
Rape oil appears to be used in industry as a lubricant but this is no argument to exclude it as a food.
Canola oil forms latex-like substances that agglutinate red blood corpuscles, as does soy
No evidence could be found for this statement. According to Dorothy Long, Canola oil products have been on the market in Canada since the late 1970's and now make up 85% of salad oils, 45% of margarines and 50% of shortenings. I find it highly unlikely that this would be the case if Canola Oil was toxic to the red blood corpuscles.
According to the official Canola statement there is no evidence for this. It is stated that" there is evidence from our research that linolenic acid in Canola oil gives rise to higher tissue levels of eicosapentaenoic acid that, in turn, gives rise to thromboxane A3, which has weak aggregating activity compared to the more common thromboxane A2". Thus Canola Oil should actually reduce the aggregation of blood platelets.
Rape oil causes blindness and antagonizes the central and peripheral nervous system. Deterioration takes years.
The official Canola statement comments "There is no evidence, to my knowledge, of Canola oil or rape seed oil having any adverse effect on vision or the central or peripheral nervous systems.
Rape (Canola) oil causes emphysema, respiratory distress, anemia, constipation, irritability and blindness in animals
No evidence in Medline for this. According to the Canola statement, healthy human subjects were fed 75 grams of Canola oil for 21 days in numerous studies and no complaints of any kind were recorded.
Rape oil fed to animals in England caused Mad Cow Disease
Experts agree that Mad Cow Disease was caused by a virus-like organism called Scrapie in sheep and that contaminated sheep offal was fed to the cows. I have never heard of this being related to rapeseed oil in any way. No Medline evidence for this.
Canola Oil is "Low in Erucic Acid"
This is true.
Rape oil contains a fat called erucic acid. It constitutes 40-50% of total fatty acids in the oil
Erucic acid is "drastically reduced", "essentially eliminated" in the Canola variant of the Rape plant according to the Canola statement. The reason for this is that erucic acid stunts growth (according to Medline abstracts).
Erucic acid was part of the so-called "Lorenzo's Oil" which was used to treat a genetic defect causing long chain fatty acids in the brain to accumulate.
According to Medline, clinical studies did not support this use of Erucic acid. No information could be found that Erucic acid was toxic. Patients were treated with it for more than two years.
Canola oil contains omega 3, 6 and 12 fatty acids
According to the Canola Statement, there is no omega-12 fatty acid.
The term Canola is derived from the words "Canadian oil"
This appears to be correct
Rape oil is also the source of the infamous chemical-warfare agent, mustard gas
This is totally wrong. Mustard gas or Bis (2-chloroethyl) sulfide is made by treating ethylene with sulfur chloride or dihydroxyethyl sulfide with HCl gas (Merck Index). These are highly dangerous reactions and can only be done by experts.
The confusion with rapeseed is because it belongs to the so-called mustard family of plants also known as the Brassicaceae.
Canola contains large amounts of "isothiocyanates" which contain cyanide, which can inhibit the formation of ATP, which keeps us healthy and young
According to the Canola statement, there is no evidence that Canola Oil contains isothiocyanates, at least at levels that produce physiological effect.
There is evidence that isothiocyanates in food such as cabbage can stimulate so-called Phase 2 enzymes to excrete carcinogens from the body, i.e. protect the body against cancer. I am not aware of any evidence that these molecules can release cyanide in the body. If they could, we certainly would not be eating cabbage.
Canola glycosides depress the immune system. "The T cells go into a stupor and fall asleep on the job"
There is no known evidence to support this.
On the contrary, the relatively high levels of omega-3-fatty acids in Canola Oil may play a role in stimulating the immune system (Canola Statement)
Canola glycosides interfere with the biochemistry in animals and humans. Their presence in rattlesnake venom inhibits muscle enzymes and causes instant immobilization of the victim.
There is no evidence for this. Rattlesnake poison contains small peptides that block receptors for neurotransmitters; this has got nothing to do with glycosides.
Alcohol in Canola Oil shut down the immune system
There are no free alcohols in Canola Oil (Canola statement).
Academia and Government continue to bamboozle the public with stories of "safe" science and cheap food through the use of poisons
There is no evidence that Canola Oil contains any poisons.
This article by John Thomas an excellent example of misinformation created to discredit a bona fide commercial product.
After analysing the statements of John Thomas and Prof Bruce MacDonald as well as consulting textbooks, Medline, The Merck Index and other sources of information, I am satisfied that this attack on Canola Oil is without substance and is a travesty of the truth.
I am satisfied that Canola Oil is an advance in human nutrition and the relatively high levels of omega-3-fatty acids in this oil could be of benefit in promoting health.
There is accumulating evidence that omega-3 fatty acids can help to prevent cancers of the colon, breast, and possibly the prostate by suppressing neoplastic transformation, enhanced apoptosis and anti-angiogenicity (Omega-3 fatty acids as cancer chemopreventive agents, Rose DP and Connolly JM, Pharmacol Ther, 1999, 83, 217-244). There is growing consensus that human nutrition requires a balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, i.e. a 1:1 ratio such as found in the traditional Greek diet. The current ratio in the Western World is about 10 :1. This is a very large disparity and is worthy of serious consideration. Main sources of omega-3 fatty acids in the US are vegetable oils such as soybean and Canola. Studies have shown that the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio has decreased from 12,4:1 to 10.6 to 1 since 1985 to 1994 and that this decrease is mainly due to a 5.5 fold increase in the use of Canola Oil (Polyunsaturated fatty acids in the food chain in the United States, Kris-Etherton PM et al., Am J Nutr, 2000, 71, 179S-188S).
The Canola Council of Canada will shortly be posting a Q&A feature titled Canola Facts & Myths on their Web site home page at www.canola-council.org which will address the points raised in the "Thomas" letter.Rape in a different guise
Subject: Fw: Canola cooking oil - warning
Recently I bought a cooking oil that's new to our supermarkets, canola oil. I tried it because the label assured me it was lowest in "bad" fats. However, when I had used half the bottle, I concluded that the label told me surprisingly little else and I started to wonder: where does canola oil come from? Olive oil comes from olives, peanut oil from peanuts, sunflower oil from sunflowers; but what is a canola? There was nothing on the label to enlighten me, which I thought odd. So, I did some investigating on the internet. There are plenty of official canola sites lauding this new "wonder" oil with all its low-fat health benefits. It takes a little longer to find sites that tell the less palatable details. Here are just a few facts everyone should know before buying anything containing canola. Canola is not the name of a natural plant but a made-up word, from the words "Canada" and "oil". Canola is a genetically engineered plant developed in Canada from the rape-seed plant, which is part of the mustard family of plants.
According to Agrialternatives, The Online Innovation and Technology Magazine for Farmers, "By nature, these rape-seed oils, which have long been used to produce oils for industrial purposes, are toxic to humans and other animals". (This, by the way, is one of the websites singing the praises of the new canola industry.) Rape-seed oil is poisonous to living things and an excellent insect repellent. I have been using it (in very diluted form, as per instructions) to kill the aphids on my roses for the last two years. It works very well; it suffocates them. Ask for it at your nursery. Rape is an oil that is used as a lubricant, fuel, soap and synthetic rubber base and as on illuminant for colour pages in magazines. It is an industrial oil. It is not a food. Rape-oil, it seems, causes emphysema, respiratory distress, anaemia, constipation, irritability and blindness in animals and humans.
Rape-oil was widely used in animal feeds in England and Europe between 1986 and 1991, when it was thrown out. Remember the "Mad Cow disease" scare, when millions of unfortunate cattle in the UK were slaughtered in case of infecting humans? Cattle were being fed on a mixture containing material from dead sheep and sheep suffer from a disease called "scrapie". It was thought this was how "Mad Cow" began and started to infiltrate the human chain. What is interesting is that when rape oil was removed from animal feed, “scrapie” disappeared. We also haven't seen any further reports of "Mad Cow" since rape-oil was removed from the feed. Perhaps not scientifically proven, but interesting all the same.
US and Canadian farmers grow genetically engineered rape-seed and manufacturers use its oil (canola) in thousands of processed foods, with the blessings of Canadian and US government watchdog agencies. The canola supporting websites say that canola is safe to use. They admit it was developed from the rape-seed, but insist that through genetic engineering it is no longer rape-seed, but "canola" instead. Except canola means "Canadian oil"; and the plant is still a rape plant, albeit genetically modified. The new name provides perfect cover for commercial interests wanting to take billions.
Look at the ingredients list on labels. Apparently peanut oil is being replaced with rape-oil. You'll find it in an alarming number of processed foods. There's more, but to conclude: rape-oil was the source of the chemical warfare agent mustard gas, which was banned after blistering the lungs and skins of hundred of thousands of soldiers and civilians during W.W.I. Recent French reports indicate that it was again in use during the Gulf War. Check products for ingredients. If the label says, "may contain the following" and lists canola oil, you know it contains canola oil because it is the cheapest oil and the Canadian government subsidizes it to industries involved in food processing. I don't know what you'll be cooking with tonight, but I'll be using olive oil and old-fashioned butter, from a genetically unmodified cow.
Say No to Canola
Athalie RusselllValse bewerings oor Kanola blootgelê
Nico Vermaak, Bedryfsbestuurder, Graan SA
Gedurende September 2002 het die "Food and Home Helpline" met Graan SA geskakel nadat 'n e-pos boodskap hul bereik het waarin beweerde gesondheidsgevare van kanola-olie aangespreek is. Hierdie e-pos is volgens die sender afkomstig van 'n Me Athalie Russell van die Universiteit Kaapstad.
In die e-pos word verskeie bewerings gemaak oor die gesondheidsgevare van kanola-olie. Met navrae aan die Universiteit van Kaapstad het dit geblyk dat 'n "spook" die e-pos boodskap versprei het aangesien daar nie 'n Me Athalie Russell by die Universiteit werksaam is nie. Graan SA het in reaksie hierop met dr Carl Albrecht, navorsingskoördineerder van die Kankervereniging van Suid-Afrika geskakel om kommentaar op die e-pos boodskap te lewer. Dit het onlangs onder die aandag van Graan SA gekom dat hierdie e-pos boodskap weer deur die internet versprei word en is besluit om die volledige reaksie van dr Albrecht van KANSA te publiseer. RAPE IN A DIFFERENT GUISE Subject: Fw: Canola cooking oil - warning
Research Finance Officer
Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of Cape Town Comments: Dr Carl Albrecht
From: Dr Carl Albrecht, Research Co-ordinator, Cancer Association of South Africa
I was contacted by Mr Nico Vermaak concerning an attack on canola oil contained in an e-mail from a Ms Athalie Russell of UCT.
The current e-mail you received is almost identical to the one I received in 2000 except that the Gulf War has now also been added to the mustard gas allegation. This is an incredibly far-fetched story, i.e. that an edible plant oil was used to make a deadly poison gas. The rape-plant belongs to the so-called mustard family of plants (Brassicaceae) and mustard gas is called that because it has a yellow mustard-like colour. The only connection is the word "Mustard". This is where the connection ends. To synthesize mustard gas is a highly technical and dangerous process requiring strict laboratory conditions and has absolutely nothing to do with canola oil or any oil for that matter. Linking canola oil to mustard gas, to my mind, is industrial sabotage. It is poisoning the mind of consumers against a reasonable, healthy and safe product. It is "guilt-by-association" of the worst kind. If there was any truth in any of these statements one would expect the food-safety authorities of the world to ban canola oil. The fact that this has not happened (in the US sales have increased 500% in ten years) either means that the world's food-safety authorities are incompetent or have been bought out; or it could mean that these statements are outrageous and untrue. There is no doubt in my mind which alternative is the most likely.
SincerelyDr Carl Albrecht
Co-ordinator of Research
Cancer Association of South Africa
CANOLA OIL - GOOD OR BAD? BY DR CARL ALBRECHT