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Kellogg's "New Oil" A Turn-off at Breakfast

Kellogg's "New Oil" A Turn-off at Breakfast

The announcement by Kellogg's that they will use Monsanto’s 'nutritionally altered', low linoleic soybean oil (Vistive) is a major consumer turn-off and a risk to health.

Use of the new oil, which is understood to be genetically engineered (GE), should not be allowed until the complex effects on people's health have been fully researched.

Kellogg's move does not benefit consumers, but could be a way to avoid consumers knowing the levels of trans fatty acids in their products.The use of low linoleic GE soy bean oil as an alternative to trans fatty acids may indicate that the company is afraid of new labelling requirements for trans fatty acids which come into force in January.

Under food regulations most GE-derived oils do not have to be labelled by manufacturers. There is concern that manufacturers like Kellogg's may be able to use nutritionally deficient and GE soy oils in their products without declaring the fact, as they attempt to move away from trans fatty acids.

"Such use of oils which have had essential nutritional properties altered could lead to deficiency syndromes and malnutrition, with the potential to become a major health problem contributing to future diseases," says Claire Bleakley of GE Free (NZ) in food and environment.

"We urge Kellogg's against taking such a risk, and doing their customers a disservice. When food is nutritionally deficient our natural defence systems become highly susceptible to foreign invasion by viral and bacterial diseases. Research into these effects needs to be done and the concept fully safety-tested before even being considered for use in common foods like breakfast cereal."

Linoelic Acid is known as an Omega 3 essential fatty acid. It is a polyunsaturated fat that cannot be manufactured in the body and is therefore essential in the daily diet. Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) serve as the precursors for prostoglandins and other hormones, associated with blood clotting and inflammation. They are also the building blocks of the body’s cell membranes and involved in the formation of cell walls, making them supple and flexible, improving circulation, and having protective effects in relation to cancer.

But low Linoleic acid Omega-3 in the diet can cause deficiencies that are linked to a range of diseases and medical problems. These include: decreased memory and mental abilities, tingling sensation of the nerves, poor vision, increased tendency to form blood clots, diminished immune function, increased triglycerides and "bad" cholesterol (LDL) levels, impaired membrane function, hypertension, irregular heart beat, learning disorders, menopausal discomfort, and growth retardation in infants, children, and pregnant women, reduced growth rates, infertility, skin scaliness, kidney abnormalities, abnormal liver function, decreased immune function, decreased myocardial contractility and decreased prostaglandin production.

Rich sources of linolenic acid are cold water fish, soybeans, flaxseed, canola oil, pumpkin and walnuts.

"Kellogg's admission that their products contain high levels of trans fatty acids indicates that consumers may have been mislead by health- messages in advertising of their brands. But any plan to start using untested GE oils will only put consumers at further risk and should stop now."

ENDS

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