The Canadian government was rumored to have paid the FDA $50 million for the GRAS approval rating, for Canola.
Canola oil's real name is LEAR oil (Low Erucic Acid Rape). It is more commonly known as Rape oil or Rapeseed oil, a semi-drying oil that is used as a lubricant, bio-fuel, soap and synthetic rubber base, and as an illuminant to give color pages in magazines their slick look. In short it is an industrial oil that does not belong in the human body. It is typically referred to as a penetrating oil.
The origin of canola, the plant engineering behind it, and everything from it's mysterious approval by the Food and Drug Administration as a GRAS (generally recognized as safe) food in 1985 to it's trans fat content has come under scrutiny. According to the Optimal Breathing website, and ehow.com the Canadian government was rumored to have paid $50 million for a safe rating. Canola is an acronym for Canada oil, low acid, and was contrived by the Canadian oil industry in 1978. Canadian scientists genetically modified the rapeseed plants for the express purpose of processing the oil for human consumption. It was cheap and easy to grow. In the 1970's, companies were looking for substitutes for saturated fats, like lard for cooking which were being blamed for heart and other health diseases. Canada was set to fill the need with canola. Natural rapeseed oil is poisonous to humans and animals. It contains high levels of erucic acid, which causes heart lesions and other problems, and the need to change the name for marketing purposes was obvious. Rapeseed has been used as a source of lubricating oil for thousands of years in Asia and Europe, but it was unprocessed cold-pressed oil.
Today, Canola oil is processed by using solvents like hexane and other toxic chemicals to strip oils from the seeds. Then using high heat, which turns the omega-3's in the oil rancid and very smelly. Which further necessitates processing to remove the odor of the rancid omega-3's, and turns them into trans-fatty acids. Canola is then hydrogenated to solidify it, (injected with hydrogen) and in this form it may contain as much as 40% trans fats. Before canola, Canadian rapeseed was mainly grown to produce lubricating products for ships. The truth is, rapeseed oil is the most toxic of all food oil plants. Not even insects will eat it. It turns out that rapeseed is a member of the mustard family of plants, and is the source for the chemical agent, Mustard Gas, which causes blistering on skin and lungs when inhaled. mustard gas was banned after WWI for this very reason.
Canola oil's proponents claim that due to genetic engineering and irradiation, it is no longer rapeseed oil, but canola oil (same oil different name). They also claim it is completely safe, pointing to it's unsaturated structure and digestibility. However studies of canola oil done on rats indicate many problems. Rats developed fatty degeneration of heart, kidney, adrenals and thyroid gland. When the canola oil was withdrawn from their diet, the deposits dissolved, but scar tissue remained on the organs. Research at the University of Florida-Gainesville, determined that as much as 4.6% of all the fatty acids in unrefined canola are "trans" isomers (which are somewhat like plastic) due to the refining process. Yes, plastic, so if you use canola you are ingesting isomers that are similar to plastic and plastic is toxic. When the canola is hydrogenated, you have a double effect of toxins going into your body, trans-isomers, possible plastics depending on how high the oil was boiled at if the canola was hydrogenated, and trans-fatty acids that cause coronary heart disease. Contrary to popular opinion, saturated fats, especially those found in unrefined coconut oil, and avocados are not however harmful to health, but are important nutrition. There are no trans isomers in unrefined coconut butter, for example. This refers to many published research papers by Mary Enig, Ph.D. that refutes all the establishment propaganda condemning saturated fats.
It was found that rapeseed oil that is used in China for stir-frying produces highly carcinogenic smoke. According to The Wall Street Journal on June 7, 1995, an increased incidence of lung cancer occurs in people who breathe that smoke. In 1996, the Japanese announced a study where a canola oil diet had actually killed laboratory animals. Reacting to this unpublished, but verified and startling information, a duplicate study was conducted by Canadian scientists using piglets and a canola oil based milk diet. In this second study published in Nutrition Research, 1997, v17, the researchers verified that canola oil somehow depleted the piglets of vitamin E to a dangerously low level. In the abstract of the study, the Canadian researchers made the following remarkable statement: "It is known that ingestion of oils containing polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) of the n-3 and n-6 series results in a high degree of unsaturation in membrane phospholipids, which in turn may increase lipid peroxidation, cholesterol oxidation, free radical accumulation and membrane damage." All very bad attributes. Firstly, the idea of something depleting vitamin E rapidly is an alarming development. Vitamin E is absolutely essential to human health, and when so much PUFA is available to diet as it is today, the demand evidently becomes even more imperative because tocopherols control the lipid peroxidation that results in dangerous free radical activity, which causes lesions in arteries and other problems.
In addition, canola oil contains large amounts of isothicyanates, cyanide containing compounds. Cyanide inhibits mitochondrial production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the energy molecule that fuels the mitochondria part of immune cells, and if the canola oil is
hydrogenated, you have a double adverse effect. If you have not read my column about the deadly health effects of hydrogenated oils in foods, then read my article from last week "Trans Fat's And Depression" It is now believed that rapeseed (canola) has a cumulative effect, taking almost 10 years before symptoms begin to manifest. One possible effect of long-term use is the destruction of the protective coating surrounding nerves called the myelin sheath. This is like having raw, open wires in the body. Some symptoms include:
- tremors and shaking
- uncoordination when walking or writing
- slurred speech
- deterioration of memory and thinking processes
- fuzzy or low audio levels
- difficulty urinating/incontinence
- breathing problems/short of breath
- nervous breakdown
- numbness and tingling in extremities
- heart problems/arrhythmia
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