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3-Food: US growers push soy products in India - Countercampaign in the Philippines

   "The continued negative campaign of the American Soybean Association
    (ASA) against coconut oil has displaced 70,000 coconut farmers and
    resulted in an economic loss of $1.4 billion of the coconut industry
    over the last 20 years.[...] "It is about time that the coconut oil
    industry and government should present the truth and a counter-claim
    against the continuing smear campaign of the US soybean association
    against coconut oil," said Ostrea "ASA does not accept that they
    are wrong and still telling the public that tropical oil is
    unhealthy," he [Philippine Coconut Oil Producers Association, Inc.
    director Raul Ostrea] stressed."
                          Manila Bulletin, Philippines, by Edu H. Lopez
                                                            27 Jan 2005

                                  PART I
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TITLE:  US growers push soy products in India
SOURCE: Financial Express, India
DATE:   22 Aug 2005

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US growers push soy products in India

NEW DELHI, AUG 21: Soybean growers from the US are planning to enter the
Indian market in a big way with a variety of soy products. "India imports
about $10 million worth of American soy products. We are aiming at
increasing the level of our soy-products exports to India to about $30
million," said Robert Bob L Rikli, secretary of the American Soybean
Association (ASA). US produces about 80 million tonne of soybean
annually, out of which 40% is exported to several countries. A variety of
food items are made out of soybean in the US. Animal and poultry feed are
also prepared from soybean. Majority of the soybean varieties grown in US
are genetically modified (GM)-the ready round up varieties of the seed
multinational, Monsanto. Segregation of GM and non-GM varieties is not
done in US. But Mr Rikli feels that this situation will not be a
constraint to American exports to India and other Asian countries. He
says: "We are farmers and we are simply asking for markets for our
produce. India is already importing some American soy products." In a
seminar-cum-interactive session with Indian stakeholders in Delhi on
Saturday, the ASA projected all the possible health and nutritional
benefits arising out of consumption of soy products. The ASA is a body of
US farmers engaged in lobbying for overseas markets by generating
awareness about American soya-products. It has nine centres around the world.

                                  PART II
-------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  PCOPA refutes ASA's negative campaign against coconut oil
SOURCE: Manila Bulletin, Philippines, by Edu H. Lopez
DATE:   27 Jan 2005

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PCOPA refutes ASA's negative campaign against coconut oil

The continued negative campaign of the American Soybean Association (ASA)
against coconut oil has displaced 70,000 coconut farmers and resulted in
an economic loss of $1.4 billion of the coconut industry over the last 20

The Philippine Coconut Oil Producers Association, Inc. (PCOPA) has
strongly reputed ASA's allegations that all saturated fats including
coconut oil are bad for the health.

In a news conference, PCOPA director Raul Ostrea said PCOPA has denounced
the long standing campaign of the American Soybean Association against
coconut oil.

"It is about time that the coconut oil industry and government should
present the truth and a counter-claim against the continuing smear
campaign of the US soybean association against coconut oil," said Ostrea
"ASA does not accept that they are wrong and still telling the public
that tropical oil is unhealthy," he stressed.

The American soybean industry has revived its campaign against coconut
oil and that soy oils are simply better for American business than
tropical oils.

Only saturated fats from animals and partially hydrogenated oils cause
high cholesterol and heart problems.

PCOPA disputed claims by ASA that tropical oils containing saturated fats
are unhealthy, while those rich in polyunsaturated are much healthier.

The reality is that research has linked polyunsaturated fat to cancer and
other problems. Tropical oils like coconut oil have been shown to be safe
and beneficial.

Modern research has shown that not all saturated fats are alike and that
fatty acids in coconut oil, the medium chain triglycerides, do not raise
serum cholesterol or contribute to heart disease but are in fact very healthy.

PCOPA said that contrary to conventional belief, saturated fats are in
fact beneficial in many ways.

Because coconut oil is 92 percent saturated, it has been widely and
wrongly taken as unhealthy.

Coconut oil is fact the largest and easiest source of lauric fatty acid.
The mother's milk is rich in monolaurin which is synthesized in the body
from lauric fatty acid and protects babies from viral and bacterial
infections, said PCOPA.

Dr. George Blackburn (MD) found that the research methods showing coconut
oils cause elevated cholesterol were flawed and inaccurate.

                                  PART III
-------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  Virgin coconut oil
SOURCE: Manila Bulletin, Philippines, by Bienvenido O. Juliano, Ph.D.
DATE:   10 Apr 2005

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Virgin coconut oil

NEGATIVE publicity since the mid1980s by the American Soybean Association
in the US against tropical oils, such as coconut oil, as saturated fats
that can cause heart attacks resulted in the replacement of coconut oil
in US foods by soybean and other polyunsaturated oils and their
hydrogenated products. The propaganda ignored the virtues of coconut oil
as documented by scientific journal articles, that coconut oil's
mediumchain fatty acids have different properties from long-chain fatty
acids and that saturated oils are excellent cooking oils without trans
fatty acids, oxidized oils, and free radicals that are toxic or damage cells.

On the other hand, the recent demand for Philippine virgin coconut oil
here and abroad has been increasing. The purpose of this article is to
set the record straight on the unique properties of coconut oil, based on
documented scientific journal articles as prepared by the NAST National
Committee on Coconut Oil Research for Health. Virgin coconut oil also
possesses these properties since it has an identical fatty acid
composition to refined, bleached and deodorized (RBD) coconut oil.

Coconut oil is highly saturated and an excellent cooking oil

Fats and oils are mainly esters of glycerol and fatty acids (a
hydrocarbon chain with a carboxylic acid group at one end). Fatty acids
are classified into saturated fatty acids (no carbon double bond), either
medium-chain (8 to 12 carbon chains) or long-chain (14 carbon chains and
longer), and unsaturated fatty acids, containing double bonds, either
monounsaturated (with one double bond) or polyunsaturated (two or more
double bonds). Based on this classification, coconut oil has about 63
percent mediumchain saturated fatty acids [about 48 percent lauric acid
(C12), 7 percent capric (C10), and 8 percent caprylic (C8)], 92 percent
total saturated fatty acids, 6 percent monounsaturated fatty acids, and 2
percent polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Coconut oil, with very low (2 percent) content of polyunsaturated fatty
acids, is very stable and resistant to oxidation (oxidative rancidity),
and is an excellent cooking oil. It does not release free radicals. On
the other hand, the polyunsaturated oils easily generate free radicals,
which damage our cells. The carbon double bonds in polyunsaturated oils
are highly vulnerable to oxidation and free radical formation. Oil
oxidation is a process that makes oil rancid, thus decreasing shelf life
because of off-odors and off-tastes in food.

Polyunsaturated oils become toxic when they are oxidized (exposed to
oxygen, heat or light). Oxidation causes the formation of harmful free
radicals. A free radical is a renegade molecule (or atom) that has lost
an electron in its outer shell, leaving an unpaired electron. The free
radical is highly unstable and powerful molecular entity that will
quickly attack and steal an electron from a neighboring molecule,
resulting in a chain reaction. Free radicals can attack the cells and
damage sensitive cellular components, like the nucleus and DNA, leading
to loss of tissue integrity and to physical degeneration.

Since coconut oil is naturally saturated (>90 percent saturated fatty
acids), it does not need hydrogenation. Hence, coconut oil products have
no trans fatty acids. Hydrogenation of liquid oils (polyunsaturated) by
the addition of hydrogen atoms to double bonds (increasing the degree of
saturation) hardens the fat (increases the melting point) and is used in
the manufacture of shortening, margarine, cookies, and cakes.

Some of the unsaturated fatty acids formed by partial hydrogenation of
polyunsaturated oils have a trans rather than the native cis
configuration. Frying may also result in the formation of trans fatty
acids. Consumption of trans fatty acids, leads to high blood cholesterol,
high low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and low highdensity lipoproteins
(HDL), predictors of coronary heart disease. US FDA is now requiring the
labeling of trans fatty acids content in foods.

Unique properties of medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil

Coconut oil contains the most concentrated natural source of medium-chain
fatty acids available. Medium-chain fatty acids enter directly into the
portal vein, are transported directly to the liver to immediately provide
energy, and are not deposited as fat. By contrast, long-chain fatty acids
are esterified within the intestinal cells, enter the lymphatics and
general circulation, via very-lowdensity-lipoproteins (VLDL) to be
utilized by the cells and deposited as fat.

Coconut oil is thermogenic, raises the metabolic rate of the body, and
even prevents accumulation of fat. It can even cause weight loss. MCT or
medium-chain triglycerides from coconut oil (75 percent C8 and 25 percent
C10) is added in sports drinks and energy bars to provide a quick source
of energy. The effective energy value of MCT is 6.8 kcal/g, while other
fats and oils have about 8-9 kcal/g.

Coconut fatty acids, particularly lauric acid, are antimicrobial and kill
in vitro lipid-coated viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoa, including
tuberculosis mycobacteria, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and
Helicobacter pyroli (peptic ulcer) bacteria. Human milk, like coconut
oil, contains medium-chain fatty acids, primarily lauric acid. Infant
formulas derived from cow's milk are being fortified with coconut oil or
MCT to protect the baby from infection. Coconut oil with its MCT is
useful for critically-ill patients and those with problems with fat
digestion, including premature infants.

Coconut oil does not aggravate coronary heart disease

Blood levels of cholesterol and lipoproteins are predictors of coronary
heart disease. Contrary to the notion that all saturated fats aggravate
coronary heart disease, coconut oil, with its medium-chain fatty acids,
does not raise cholesterol level in the blood. In fact, the US Food and
Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences
reports that coconut oil benefits humans by maintaining or increasing HDL
in the blood.

The above studies demonstrate that of all fats and oils, coconut oil is
not only nutritious, but has the most health benefits. It is the best oil
in the world because of its unique properties. Virgin coconut oil
possesses these properties. Although coconut oil is low (2 percent) in
essential fatty acids, other sources of oils in the diet would contribute
to an individual's essential fatty acids requirement.

Virgin coconut oil

The National Academy of Science and Technology formed a National
Committee on Coconut Oil Research for Health in June, 2004, to sharpen
the focus on research on Philippine virgin coconut oil. The draft 2004
Philippine National Standard defines virgin coconut oil as "oil obtained
from the fresh, mature kernel of the coconut by mechanical or natural
means, with or without the use of heat, without undergoing chemical
refining, bleaching, or deodorizing; it does not lead to the alteration
of the nature of the oil.

Virgin coconut oil is an oil which is suitable for consumption without
the need for further processing." The virgin oil is colorless and clear,
and the cold-process oil has the aroma of fresh coconut. The traditional
process heats the coconut milk (gata) to boiling to remove water and
separate oil and latik. Recovery of oil is higher with the use of heat on
the gata to break the emulsion and contribute to price differences among
the virgin oils. The heat-processed oil may have the aroma of latik.
Other processes use enzymes and still others use desiccated coconut meat
and an expeller to extract the oil.

There are no simple markers so far identified to distinguish among the
various virgin coconut oils. Although virgin coconut oils have the same
fatty acid composition and hence, the unique properties as RBD coconut
oil described above, clinical studies have yet to confirm the possible
benefits of the milder processing conditions on the health-promoting
properties of coconut oil.

The DoST earmarked R10 million in 2005 to finance critical clinical
studies on the oil, with priority to in vitro studies on the anti-
microbial properties of virgin coconut oil: (a) against common pathogens
in the neonatal intensive care units (ICU); (b) prevention of sepsis
among adult patients in the ICU; and (c) in vitro study on the killing
effect of virgin coconut oil on parasites. RBD coconut oil will be a
positive check. The Philippine Coconut Authority will supply the cold-
process virgin coconut oil for the clinical studies to ensure maximum
functional activity and level of anti-oxidants in the oil.

A Philippine Standard for virgin coconut oil had been drafted and is
pending approval. Similarly, the Codex Alimentarius standard for olive
oil also define virgin olive oil as "the oil obtained from the fruit of
the olive tree by mechanical or other physical means under conditions,
particularly thermal, which do not lead to alteration of the oil." Thus,
heat-processed US olive oil is also classified as virgin as the cold-
processed Mediterranean olive oil.

The differentiation among the various virgin coconut oils in the
Philippine Standard awaits local definitive research data on the
physical, chemical, and clinical differentiation among the products as
compared also with RBD coconut oil.


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