Dr. Dean

Canola Oil: Latest Internet Hoax Victim

Posting Date: 09/03/1999

There are a lot of hoaxes and false health information being spread over the Internet that I?ve been collecting at HealthCentral in the

Internet Hoax Watch Center. One of the latest to come to my attention is about canola oil, also known as rape seed oil.

While canola oil has been shown to be beneficial, there has been a lot of bogus information showing up that defames the popular unsaturated product.

Here is one example of a "warning" about canola that is false:

"Insects will not eat it; it is deadly poisonous. The oil from the rape seed is a hundred times more toxic than soy oil! Canola is a semi-drying oil that is used as a lubricant, fuel, soap and synthetic rubber base and a illuminant for the slick color pages that you see in the magazines."

Another circulated report on canola erroneously connects it to Mad Cow disease:

"Rape (Canola) oil causes emphysema, respiratory distress, anemia, 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. You may remember reading about the cows, pigs and sheep that went blind, lost their minds, attacked people and had to be shot."

Here?s another off-the-wall canola jab:

"My sister spilled Canola oil on a piece of fabric, after 5 pre-treatings and harsh washings, the oil spot still showed. She stopped using Canola oil, wondering what it did to our insides if it could not be removed from cloth easily."

There are other examples, but I think I?ve made my point. If you see any of these so-called warnings about canola oil, don?t believe them.

And remember, consider the source: one e-mail directs you to a Web site selling a guide to surviving the Y2K crisis. Not exactly where I would turn for medical information. And of course, all the claims about canola oil are unattributed.

The bottom line: there?s no scientific evidence that canola oil is unhealthy or bad for us. So hit the delete key if this hoax comes your way.