The Dangers of Canola Oil

Marketed as a wonder oil for preparing heart-healthy recipes, canola oil has come under attack since at least the 1980s. The origin of canola, the plant engineering behind it, and everything from its mysterious approval by the Food and Drug Administration as a GRAS (generally recognized as safe) food in 1985 to its trans fat content has come under scrutiny. According to the Optimal Breathing website, the Canadian government was rumored to have paid the FDA $50 million for the GRAS approval rating.

What is Canola?

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 1970s, the food super-companies were looking for substitutes for saturated fats, which were being blamed for heart and other health diseases, and 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. Reasons for the need to change the name for marketing purposes are obvious. Rapeseed has been used as a source of oil for thousands of years in Asia and Europe, but it was unprocessed cold-pressed oil.

Processing and Marketing

Rape oil, like most vegetable oils, goes rancid very quickly after it is pressed. Traditional Asian and Indian processing used cooked seeds and a small press to cold-press the fresh oil from the seeds.

Canola oil is processed by using solvents (hexane) and chemicals to strip oils from the seeds and using high heat, which turns the omega-3s rancid and very smelly. Further processing to remove the odor of the rancid omega-3s turns them into trans-fatty acids. Canola is hydrogenated to solidify it, and in this form it may contain as much as 40 percent trans fats.


Canadian plant geneticists worked to eliminate glycosides, which interfere with thyroid function, and to remove erucic acid by first developing low erucic acid rapeseed (LEAR). Early LEAR oil studies at Unilever in Netherlands indicated that it caused heart lesions. New generations of genetically modified rapeseed plants are constantly being developed, so long-term effects are not available.

Canola seeds are transgenic, which is laboratory genetic manipulation that combines genes from different species of plants. Rapeseed is wind pollinated, and the GM varieties have crossed uncontrolled into other crops.

Other Problems

Claims of several human health side effects from canola oil are loss of vision, disruption of the central nervous system, respiratory illness, anemia, constipation, increased incidence of heart disease and cancer, low birth weights in infants and irritability. Many of these have not appeared in medical journals, and long-term research has not been done to substiantiate or refute the claims

As an industrial oil, it is used as a lubricant, as biodiesel fuel, in soap, in colored printing processes, and to make synthetic rubber. Before canola, Canadian rapeseed was mainly grown to produce lubricating products for ships. All vegetable oils can be used for these purposes.

Vitamin E Depletion

Studies have conclusively shown that canola depletes vitamin E, which is necessary for life. The most well-known studies were done by Canadian researchers in 1997 and involved piglets fed milk replacer containing canola and fortified with vitamin E. Their vitamin E levels dropped dangerously low. Part of the test included piglets on milk replacer with soy oil and fortified with vitamin E, and their levels did not drop.

In 1998, the same research group reported problems in platelet count and platelet size in piglets on canola-based feed.


Rapeseed oil used in China for stir-frying produced highly carcinogenic smoke. According to The Wall Street Journal on June 7, 1995, an increased incidence of lung cancer occurs in people who breathe the smoke.

Animal Feed

From 1986 until 1991, rapeseed was used in animal feed in England and Europe; its use was halted in 1991 when studies indicated health problems directly related to it. Problems subsided when it was no longer used.


Side effects result from the consumption of canola products

Wednesday, March 02, 2011 by: Shona Botes
Tags: canola oil, side effects, health news

(NewsTarget) Canola oil and canola-based products have been at the centre of controversy for quite a few years. While some say that it helps to lower cholesterol levels, it actually has a few nasty side-effects as well (note: Only animal studies have been done regarding the toxic effects that it has on living organisms). Despite no human studies being done, this product was placed on the GRAS (Generally Regarded as Safe) list. It is in fact a by-product of a highly toxic insecticide product.

The real name for Canola oil is LEAR, or Low Erucic Acid Rape, as it has been extracted from Rapeseed oil. This oil is in fact an industrial oil product which has no place whatsoever in our bodies. In light industry, it is also referred to as penetrating oil. Rapeseed oil is also the source for Mustard Gas, which was used as a chemical warfare agent, and was banned after World War 1 for causing severe blistering of the lungs and skin.

Canola is in fact a Genetically Modified food which has been classified as a bio pesticide by the EPA. Like mercury and fluoride, Canola is also not eliminated from the body. It is found in almost all fast foods, convenience foods, chocolate, candies, bread, potato chips, baby foods and formulas, most peanut butters and cookies, frozen French fries, rye breads, chocolate syrups, mayonnaise, granola bars, some vegetarian convenience foods, lunch meats, margarines, movie house snacks, tortillas and most other bakery foods.

Studies done on rats and other lab animals showed that after consuming canola oil, there were fatty deposits that accumulated on their hearts, thyroids, adrenal glands and kidneys. When they stopped consuming this oil, the fatty deposits disappeared, but unfortunately scar tissue remained on the affected organs.

Because it is high in glycosides, canola oil has been shown to inhibit enzyme function. Its effects are known to be accumulative, resulting in side-effects taking years to show up. It is also able to inhibit the metabolism of foods. Being a trans-fatty acid, it is also possible that this man-made oil has a direct link to causing cancer (even from just breathing in the toxic fumes created when frying foods in it).

Rapeseed oil is an acetyl cholinesterase inhibitor. This compound is crucial when it comes to transmitting signals from the nerves to the muscles. This is possibly why there has been a dramatic increase in cases of multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy over the past few years. Other side-effects which have been reported include respiratory illnesses, loss of vision, constipation, anemia, heart disease, irritability and low birth weight in infants. It is known to severely deplete Vitamin E levels in the body, as well as cause severe clotting of red blood cells, which can pose a serious health risk.
The best way to avoid consuming this toxic industrial by-product is to prepare meals yourself from scratch, and especially avoid fast foods at all costs.



  •  In general edible oils need to be from foods to be edible , not plants , so to speak . Olive oil comes from olives , peanut oil from peanuts etc . What food does canola oil come from ?   As the article said it doesn’t come from a food but a plant .
  • There are oils called essential oils  that you use externally by rubbing them on the bottom of the feet for healing the body . They are used externally, not internally, and are from plants .
  • Again, it’s unbelievable how even “health” food stores[ whole foods] etc !  that serve hot foods [ bar] use canola oil in everything they make . That’s why I don’t eat out .
  • As usual it ‘s about money , as the article said canola oil is cheap to produce and buy , so that is why restaurants use it . It always comes back to 1 Tim 6 : 10 .
  • I would say from bringing it up to people even in health food stores , like 75% of people , don’t know or realize how bad canola oil is .

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