Beware of Canola Oil

Several months ago in Checkpoints, we made a brief mention about problems with canola oil. Since then, we have received a number of requests for additional information. Here it is.

Rapeseed is an annual plant which, in the past, has primarily been cultivated for its leaves (for use as a temporary pasture crop for cattle).

But, in recent years, a secondary use of the seed has grown significantly in importance. The plant produces an oil-bearing seed. Although, in the past, that oil has not been considered a product for human consumption, the situation changed when sharp industrialists realized that rapeseed oil could be produced at an extremely low cost.

The payment of a lot of money, a few years back, to an agency of the U.S. Government solved the problem; and now, as a result, the entire food industry is increasingly using rapeseed oil in food products. And for a very special reason: It is the cheapest "approved" food oil that they can purchase.

The succulent rape plant grows very fast, produces a high yield, can withstand very cold conditions, and insects have enough sense to totally avoid it. Although it is not a good forage crop, the above advantages have, in the past, sometimes made it useful in emergencies as pasturage for cattle.

Then there is the fact that its oil can be manufactured so inexpensively. The rape plant grows where other oil-bearing seeds do not do as well. It grows best under cool, moist conditions and resists rather severe frosts. In Canada, which has a short growing season, it is seeded in the very early spring; and, because it grows so fast, it produces bountiful crops. Rapeseed and winter wheat are two of the primary crops of Canada.

Now, what is "Canola oil"? It is a new name for rapeseed oil. Here are the facts about Canola oil:

The name, "Canola oil," is an abbreviation for "Canada Oil." Its real name is "Lear Oil" (low erucic acid rape). But it is still rapeseed oil, oil from the seed of the rape plant.

Rapeseed is Canola oil; so, when we speak of rapeseed oil for human consumption in this article, we are talking about Canola oil.

Rapeseed is used in industry as a lubricating oil. Prior to recent decades, it was not used as food for humans. People in earlier centuries had more sense. There were solid reasons for that decision.

The rape plant is derived from the mustard family and is considered a toxic and poisonous weed. When processed, it becomes rancid very quickly. As you may know, rancid oils, ingested, quickly destroy Vitamin E in your system. Rapeseed has been shown to cause lung cancer (Wall Street Journal, June 7, 1995).

Other side effects of rapeseed include loss of vision, disruption of the central nervous system, respiratory illness, constipation, anemia, increased incidence of heart disease and cancer, low birth weights in infants, and irritability.

Rapeseed also tends to inhibit proper metabolism of foods and slows, or prohibits, normal enzyme function.

Rapeseed generally has a cumulative effect, and takes almost ten years before the symptoms begin to manifest themselves. It is little wonder that insects avoid the rape plant. They want to protect their insides.

What have we come to when bugs have more sense then people! Incredible.

Because it is a trans fatty acid oil (TFA oil), rapeseed has a direct link to cancer. As you may know, all hydrogenated, or partially hydrogenated, oils are TFA oils. You should have nothing to do with them! TFA oils are thickened oils which are produced with an added molecule of hydrogen. This "stabilizes" the oil; that is, it keeps the oil from rotting over a period of time (as it normally would) while destroying its food value in the process.

That is why you can keep a jar of supermarket peanut butter on the shelf for months. The peanut oil has been extracted and Canola, or some other type of hydrogenated oil, has been substituted in its place. Natural peanut butter will list only peanuts and salt on the label; and, when you open it, it will have sweet-smelling peanut oil floating on top.

That molecule of hydrogen, added to food oils, generally turns them into a kind of grease. However, scientists have figured out ways to hydrogenate liquid oils. All the cooking and salad oils you buy in a regular grocery store are hydrogenated. If you want decent oil, purchase it from a health-food store outlet.

(The two best oils are wheat germ oil and flaxseed oil. Of these two, flaxseed oil is the best. It is the only oil the author uses. He pours it into a spoon, when he eats, and never places it in pots or pans to be cooked. That way the amount he uses is also carefully measured. The third best oil is soy oil, but only that which is purchased in a health-food store.)

You will find Canola oil in margarines, snack foods, and even bread. Increasingly, it is being substituted for other, higher-priced hydrogenated oils (such as corn, soy, or cottonseed oil).

While we are on the subject, never eat anything with cottonseed oil in it! Cottonseed oil, ingested over a period of time, can lead to blindness. Although it is a most excellent fiber for garments, the cotton plant is not a food! In order to obtain more money per acre grown in cotton, after the cotton has been cleaned, the seed oil is sold as a cheap food oil. Rub a little cottonseed oil on your skin, and then smell it a few hours later. It will smell like rancid fish oil!

In his book, Young Again, John Thomas claims that, twelve years ago in England and Europe, they began feeding rapeseed to cows, pigs, and sheep which later went blind and began attacking people. There were no further attacks after the rapeseed was eliminated from the rations fed to the animals.

In industry, "rape oil" is used as a lubricant, fuel, soap, synthetic rubber base, and as an illuminant to give color pages in magazines a slicker appearance. In light industry, it is known as penetrating oil.

The rape plant (B. Napus) is a member of the mustard family, and is the most toxic of all food oil plants. It is the only food oil plant which insects will not touch. 

Rats fed on rapeseed oil developed fatty degeneration of the heart, kidney, adrenals, and thyroid gland. When this oil was withdrawn from their diet, the deposits gradually dissolved, but scar tissue remained on the organs.

The Food and Drug Administration suddenly placed rapeseed on its GRAS (generally regarded as safe) list, without doing any research on its effects on humans.

What is not as commonly known is that the Canadian Government, eager to sell a product which could be grown on its cold, short-growing season, land paid the FDA the sum of $50,000 to have rape registered as "generally regarded as safe" (via placement on its GRAS list). Laws were enacted affecting international trade and commerce. As a result, Canola oil (ordinary rapeseed oil) could be sold to American food processors. They quickly jumped at the chance to obtain it,since it could be purchased more cheaply than any other "food-grade" oil.

When ingested by humans, rapeseed oil depresses the immune system, causing it to "go to sleep." Because it is high in glycosides, this oil causes health problems by blocking (inhibiting) enzyme function. Its effects are cumulative and require years to show up.

Long-term use can gradually destroy the protective outside coating on the nerves (the myelin sheath). When this protective sheath is melted off, the nerves short-circuit, resulting in erratic, uncontrollable movements.

Older people today suffer from many physical problems which the elderly did not experience centuries ago. The difference will be found in the food eaten, the liquids that are now consumed, and the air that is now breathed. And, we might add, the many varieties of dissipation that are now available.

Within the last few years, Canadian oil-processing factories have figured out how to genetically engineer their Canola oiland make it even more unsafe!

Here is a statement by AgriAlternatives, the Online Innovation and Technology Magazine for Farmers:

"By nature, these rapeseed oils, which have long been used to produce oils for industrial purposes, are . . toxic to humans and other animals."

Oddly enough, that little sentence was buried in a report praising Canola oil. AgriAlternatives was explaining how they have genetically "improved" the product.

Canola oil industry advertisements explain that U.S. and Canadian farmers now grow genetically engineered rapeseed and manufacturers use its oil (Canola) in thousands of processed foods, with the full blessing of the Canadian and U.S. watchdog agencies. It is said rapeseed oil is now safe to use because, through genetic engineering, it is no longer rapeseed. Yet it is still grown on a rape plant.

The new name provides perfect cover for commercial interests wanting to make millions on the one oil seed that can be grown more easily, quickly, and cheaply than any other. (Interestingly enough, the bugs continue to avoid the genetically engineered plant varieties.)

When the Canadian government paid the $50,000 to the FDA to approve Canola oil as safe for human nutrition, no money was spent by any research agency to ascertain whether Canola oil was safe for humans to ingest. Let the buyer beware.

Rapeseed is so poisonous to living creatures, that it has been sold for years as an insect repellant. As you may know, only very strong poisons kill insects. Ask for it at your garden nursery. They will tell you it is excellent to place on your roses to kill aphids. It acts by suffocating them!

Check the labels: If they say, "may contain the following" and "canola oil" is listed, then that is what is in the product, because it is the cheapest oil. The Canadian government subsidizes the companies manufacturing it, in order to stifle used food-oil competition.

Here is a statement by an expert in the field:

"Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) is a rare degenerative disease caused by a build up of long-chain fatty acids which destroys myelin, the protective sheath of the nerves. Canola oil is a very long chain fatty acid."Udo Erasmus, Fats that Heal and Fats that Kill.

One correspondent wrote this comment:

"My cholesterol level was 150. After a year using Canola oil, I tested 260. I switched back to pure olive oil and it has taken five years to get it down to 160. That initiated a project to find answers, since most physicians say that Canola oil is okay.

"My sister spilled Canola oil on a piece of fabric, and, after five pre-treatings and harsh washings, the oil spot still showed. She stopped using Canola oil, wondering what it did to her insides if it could not be removed easily from cloth.

"My Father used to breed birds, but he always checked labels to insure there was no rapeseed in their food. He said, The birds will eat it, but they do not live as long when they do.

"A friend, who worked for only nine months as a quality control taster at an apple-chip factory where Canola oil was used exclusively for frying, developed numerous health problems. These included loose teeth, gum disease, numb hands and feet, swollen arms and legs upon rising in the morning, extreme joint pain (especially in the hands), cloudy vision, constipation with stools like black marbles, hearing loss, skin breaks from being bumped, lack of energy, hair loss, and heart pains.

"It has been five years since that woman has worked there and she still has some joint pain, gum disease, and numbness.

"A fellow worker, who ate very little of the product, had a routine checkup and found his blood vessels were like those of an 80-year-old man. Two other employees fed the apple-chip scraps to baby calves, and the hair on the calves fell out. After removing the fried apple chips from their diet, the hair came back in.

"Canola oil turns rancid very fast. We have found that, if any of it is spilled on clothing, it will leave a residual rancid odor which lasts for quite some time."

Here is another quotation:

"Rapeseed oil smoke causes lung cancer."Wall Street Journal, June 7, 1995.

They say that Canola oil is "healthful because it is polyunsaturated." But, in reality, it is a health hazard and should not be used as a cooking oil or salad oil. Nor should any product containing it be eaten. Stop using all processed foods, and you can get away from the physical evils caused by Canola oil. There is no Canola oil in fresh fruits and vegetables. And there is none in whole grain wheat which you bake yourself. vf

The two best food oils are wheat germ oil and flaxseed oil. Both are outstanding. In the opinion of the present writer, flaxseed oil is the better of the two. (See pp. 107-108 of my book, Alternative Cancer Remedies, for the reasons.)

The best source of wheat germ oil is Viobin brand Wheat Germ Oil.

The best source of flaxseed oil is Barleans high lignan Flax Oil. If you cannot obtain it locally, contact the company and ask for a list of their sales outlets in your area (4936 Lake Terrell Road, Ferndale, WA 98248).