Re: B-GE: Rape/Canola: No literature, No testing--No allergies????
- To: email@example.com, ban-GEF@lists.greenbuilder.com,firstname.lastname@example.org
- Subject: Re: B-GE: Rape/Canola: No literature, No testing--No allergies????
- From: NinaLynn@aol.com
- Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 06:20:43 EDT
- Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
- Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
- Resent-From: email@example.com
I would greatly appreciate it if people could call our attention to ONE
peer-reviewed, independent scientific publication that demonstrates the
safety of ANY genetically altered food.
In a message dated 4/29/1999 9:25:31 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
Some of you may have read the GRAS petitions and areoallergen
information. I have added some new questions in light of the
[mis]information that was recently given by Canola Council and
the Univ. of Nebraska. I am outraged that an oil used in medical
procedures, as food and in cosmetics has never been documented
in food allergy literature. We've has 42 years!
Thanks, Colleen [just another lab rat]
While researching rapeseed/canola the last 13 months, I have
found NO RESEARCH on food allergies for this oil. I have not found
any study researching multiple oils that included rape/canola.
No food allergy research on a product that is transgenic, a process
that we repeatly hear is safe, with many safeguards. Where are the
safeguards when the product hasn't been tested in the first place!
I called, or had others call, 16 allergists and four labs in the U.S.
and Canada after finding no states near me testing
for the oil. I researched in excellent medical and national libraries
and medical abstract websites so was surprised to see the following
email on the Canola Council of Canada[CCC] website in their discussion
group, nutrition section.
March 02, 1999 Lisa Gruener, research coordinator, answered a parent
of a one-year old who had reactions after consuming canola:
"According to an extensive literature review on the allergenicity
of edible oils done by the University of Nebraska, canola oil is
considered to be non-allergenic. Research has shown that refined
edible oils, which is the form in which oils are commonly available
to consumers, are non-allergenic, as they do not contain any traces
of protein" and "Cold-pressed oils, which are less commonly available
to consumers may contain trace amounts of protein, thus posing some
risk to food-allergic individuals. As I mentioned previously, to date
we have not seen any confirmed cases of an allergy to canola oil,
cold-pressed or refined."
March 17 I contacted Ms. Gruener to ask if an article in FOODTECHNOLOGY
by Hefle and Taylor, co-directors of Food Allergy Research and Resource
Program, University of Nebraska, was the article she had cited.
She answered that it seemed to be the same article, without charts.
I also called Dr. Steven Taylor, listed in U.of Nebraska faculty
profile as Head, Food Science & Technology Dept. and one of the
review's authors. I explained my situation and asked where he had
found the research articles showing canola/rapeseed to be nonallergenic.
Dr. Taylor answered that there was no canola allergy literature to
The Univ. of Nebraska literature review states "Some oil sources, such
as canola or olive are nonallergenic." and "While many of the oils
used in the studies described in this review are cold-pressed, virtually
all oils consumed in the United States made from allergenic sources are
solvent-extracted." The authors reviewed studies of peanut, almond,
walnut, sunflower, both refined and coldpressed; soy, refined and crude;
hazelnut, mixed; macadamia, cold-pressed and pistachio, mixed. It stated
that cold-pressed or unrefined oils may contain "residual but detectable
amounts of protein."
1. The study should have read "There are no published canola food
allergy studies to review."
2. FOODTECHNOLOGY is used by food processors as confirmation
that canola is nonallergenic, NOT that research hasn't been done on it.
3. Cold-pressed/expeller pressed canola may contain enough protein to
cause an allergic reaction. The oil is commonly found in health
food stores where people are shopping for pesticide & gmo-free
food for ethical and health reasons. I have seen the same oils in
conventional grocery stores "natural foods" sections.
4. Taylor was one of 6 editors/authors of "Allergenicity of Foods
Produced by Genetic Modification." The report was an effort of
International Food Biotechnology Council and International Life
Science Institute [Allergy and Immunology Institute]. The science-based,
decision tree approach to assess the allergenic potentials of transgenic
foods is included in the report.
I have 7 full studies and 2 editorials on rapeseed as an
aeroallergen. The studies were from the U.K., Austria and
Spain, none in North America. I have abstracts of other
European studies, but do not have the full studies to use.
1. The earliest study I have, from Scotland's Angus District,
was initiated after the Director of Enviromental Health, L.A.
Cameron, found himself reacting to rapeseed fields near his home,
with no prior hayfever problems.
The Angus council kindly sent copies of their original work, letters
from people outside the test areas, study procedures and those
involved. Interestingly, Mr. Cameron commented in the paper that
the research community was very helpful, but was concerned with
government apathy where human health was concerned. In a newspaper
article he photocopied [no date, name] Dr. T. S. Callaghan, Stracathro
Hospital, said of Mrs. Edwina Currie, junior minister for health:
"..Mrs. Currie is strictly correct in that her department
has no evidence [of asthma & allergy symptoms]." "But he added,
there is no evidence because it has not been looked at."
2. A recent study by McEwan/Smith noted "the possible allergic/irritant
nature of OSR plants has been attributed to several
groups of particulates or chemical, pollen, fungal infections and
VOCs.... While the number of people affected by plant derived VOCs
has not been quantified, studies of similar chemicals have shown
that they can have toxic or allergic effects in other circumstances."
3. An editorial by C. McSharry, Glasgow, reported "It is important
that sensitization among farmers is investigated since they are at the
front line of contact with OSR." and "Canada is currently the largest
exporter of rapeseed but there is little evidence of a problem. This
could be due to the wide Canadian spaces dissipating the pollen and VOC,
or perhaps in common with other countries there may be a natural
reluctance to acknowledge even a trivial problem with such a valuable
commodity. McSharry called for a "coordinated, multi-disciplinary
approach, with respiratory physicians, clinical scientists and plant
4. An Austrian study found "...OSR sensitization was of a similar magnitude
like allergy to ragweed and nettle, which are considered relevant
allergens in Austria...We therefore consider OSR should be included
in routine allergy screening series in countries with rape cultivation."
Where are the pollen/VOC studies for North America?
Ms. Gruener of CCC commented in a personal email "The producers
that I know that are allergic to canola flowers use an antihistamine
during the flowering season...." Is that in Canada? Are the surrounding
areas warned of the VOC and pollen problems?
James Maryanski Ph.D., FDA Strategic Manager for Biotechnology,
and Dean Metcalfe, NIAID/NIH, both confirmed to me recently that the
only way to test for transgenic foods is to obtain each individual
product and skin test. There are no commercial extracts available.
Will insurance companies pay for multiple tests of a product? Can
you imagine an allergist trying to isolate an allergic response
if there are 20 different canola/rapeseed novel oils to test? This
would seem to be a nightmare for the allergist, as well as the
Rapeseed oil [hydrogenated, 40% erucic acid] was used in peanut
butter as early as 1961. A recent check of the grocery store shelves
showed rapeseed in all peanut butters but the "natural" products
without peanut oil removed.
Proctor & Gamble submitted a 1974 petition to the FDA requesting that
fully hydrogenated rapeseed oil and superglycerinated fully hydrogenated
rapeseed oil be give GRAS [Generally Recognized As Safe] status.
In the 1977 Federal Register: "The natural oil contains
a high percentage of long chain fatty acids, 40 percent of which is
unsaturated erucic acid. Experimental studies with erucic acid in
rats have demonstrated that this unsaturated fatty acid is readily
absorbed, accumulated in the heart and liver, and is the substance
in rapeseed oil which is responsible for the observed fatty
infiltration and degeneration of heart muscle. The hydrogenation
converts the erucic acid to the saturated behenic acid which is
poorly absorbed. As a result, the feeding of fully hydrogenated
rapeseed oil and superglycerinated fully hydrogenated rapeseed oil
to rats did not produce the aforementioned lipid accumulation and
effects on the heart muscle."
This final rule also stated that superglycerinated fully hydrogenated
rapeseed oil "has been used since 1957 in cake mix formulations
as an emulsifier in shortening at a maximum concentration of 4
percent of the shortening or at 0.5 percent of the total weight
of cake mix."
In 1982 Agriculture Canada filed to get LEAR [low erucic acid rapeseed
oil] GRAS status in the U.S. It could have up to 2% erucic acid
content. The final ruling was made in 1985. "FDA has found that
LEAR oil does not produce the adverse effects produced by rapeseed oils
containing higher levels of erucic acid, and that there are no
significant differences in toxicity between LEAR oils and other
vegetable oils." Dec. 19, 1988 Canola oil was recognized as an
interchangeable name with low erucic acid rapeseed oil [LEAR].
Peanut allergies are rising in the U.S.--including anaphylaxis.
Why has rapeseed been used in peanut butter for the
last 42 years without allergy tests? The oil can replace up to
2% of the product. I have seen peanuts cooked in vegetable
oil, which could be canola, since it isn't always labelled
NOTE: Erucic acid is still being debated.
Canola is also used in cosmetics and as an anticoagulant [according to
CCC. From APHIS, USDA website: Traditional and other uses have been
for lamp oils, soap making, high-temperature and tenacious high-erucic
acid lubricating oils, and plastics manufacturing.[14} The 1998 Canola
convention proceedings estimated that "each product could generate
20,000 to 50,000 acres of demand and there could be as many as 20
different varieties in the marketplace in the coming years." [15}
 Hefle & Taylor, "The Allergenicity of Edible Oils, FOODTECHNOLOGY
Feb. 1999; 53:2, 62-70.
 http://foodsci.unl.edu/foodsci/faculty/taylor.htm Dr. Taylor's
research interests are "development of immunochemical methods for the
detection of allergens, proteins, and toxin; the assessment of the
allergenicity of genetically-engineered foods; the effect of food
processing on food allergens; and the evaluation of the safety of
foodborne chemical, both natually-occurring and additive."
[4} Critical Review of Food Science and Nutrition 1996; 36 Suppl.
International Food Biotechnology Council; w/ILSI Allergy and Immun.
Institute. Editors: Dean Metcalfe [NIH & Int'l Life Science Inst;
Allergy and Immunology Institute]; Roy L. Fuchs [Monsanto];James D.
Astwood [Monsanto]; Rod Townsend [Pioneer Hi-Bred International] and
Hugh A. Sampson [John Hopkins Univ.; Steve L. Taylor[Univ.of Neb.]
Joseph R. Fordham.
 Study, Angus District Council; 14 Sept. 1989 Scotland
 McEwan,M., MacFarlane Smith, W.H.Identification of volatile organic
compounds emitted in the field by oilseed rape (Brassica napus ssp.
oleifera) over the growing season. Clin Exp Allergy 1998, 28:
 McSharry, C., Oilseed rape sensitivity, Clin Exp Allergy 1997;
 Hemmer W. et al, Oilseed rape pollen is a potentially relevant
allergen. Clin Exp Allergy, 1997 Feb, 27:2, 156-61.
 Federal Register, Feb. 14, 1974 (39 FR 5674)
Federal Register, Sept. 23, 1977(42 FR 48335) Docket # 77G-0100.
Federal Register, 1982
Federal Register, Jan. 28, 1985 (50 FR 3745) Docket # 82G-0207
Federal Register, Dec. 29, 1988 953 FR 52681) Dockets # 82G-0207;
#86P-0506, and #87P-0199]
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/BBEP/BP/rapeseed.html U.S. Biotechnology