It is startling to see the number of pet foods and treats that are using Canola Oil; it is becoming the trend ingredient. So much so that it caused me to wonder if I had previously given Canola Oil a bad rap. A revisit to Canola Oil research provided me with no comfort; only concern as to why it is so commonly used in pet foods.
In early 2009, TruthaboutPetFood.com published an article about the possible risks of Canola Oil in pet foods (Click Here to read). During my re-building process of Petsumer Report, I had decided that I would no longer list Canola Oil as only a warning; I decided that it should become a red flag ingredient. However, as I have begun to work my way through the reviews (to subscribers, sorry it takes so long – one of me, 1900+ of reviews takes time), I was shocked to see how many foods contain Canola Oil and thus will become (in the new Petsumer Report) red flag ingredient pet foods. Was I wrong about Canola?
My previous article about Canola Oil quoted one of the most respected journalists of truth in health and nutrition, David Lawrence Dewey. Mr. Dewey had nothing good to say about Canola. But, I went in search for more, below is what I found.
A documented conversation of several medical experts published on the Journal of the American College of Nutrition website stated…
“Canola oil is not allowed in infant formula in the United States or Canada. Some studies in humans have associated intake of canola oil with cardiac fatty infiltration. More recently, some studies using hypertensive rats have shown that intake of canola oil increases hypertensive events in these animals.”
In a Japanese study of rats fed a diet containing Canola Oil…“These results indicate that promotion of hypertension-related deterioration in organs is likely to have relevance to the short life span in the canola oil group.”
In another study published in The Journal of Nutrition “Vegetable oils contain various minor components such as fat-soluble vitamins, phytosterols, isoflavonoids, tocopherols, and environmental chemicals. Fat-soluble substances are generally secreted into breast milk and are likely to affect the pups’ physiology. The spontaneously hypertensive rat, stroke prone (SHRSP) strain, derived from the SHR and Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) strains, develops hypertension and dies of stroke frequently, particularly when salt is added to their drinking water. SHRSP rats exhibit various other anomalies such as renal injury, peroxidative injury, developmental disorders, and reproductive physiologic disorders. Using this strain, we showed that dietary perilla seed oil, flaxseed oil, and fish oil with very low (n-6)/(n-3) ratios prolong survival by 10% compared with safflower and soybean oils with high (n-6)/(n-3) ratios; however, canola oil (Can), with a relatively low (n-6)/(n-3) ratio ( 2.5), markedly shortens survival ( 40% in the absence of NaCl in the drinking water) compared with soybean oil (Soy).”
Another concern I found were numerous (brief) statements on were possible allergic reactions (in humans) to Canola, of which no studies have been performed (never the less no studies on dogs and cats allergen potential).
So to make a long story short(er), I remain steadfast believing that Canola Oil has no place in pet food. It is a genetically modified (GM) oil, and there is no research on the safety of its use in pet foods and treats. Yes, there is a multitude of science that shows positive benefits of Canola, but one thing remains very troubling to me…
If the FDA does not allow the use of Canola Oil in infant formula, there has got to be a mighty big reason why. Though it might be simple, my logic is that if Canola Oil is not safe for human babies to consume in their food, than its not safe for my furry babies to consume in food. Until there is sound scientific research proving Canola Oil is 100% safe and beneficial to dogs and cats, it will remain a red flag ingredient regardless of how many pet foods think its trendy.
Not to ruin your day, but…
“Transgenic canola is growing freely in parts of North Dakota, researchers told the Ecological Society of America conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, today. The scientists behind the discovery say this highlights a lack of proper monitoring and control of GM crops in the United States.” http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100806/full/news.2010.393.html
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Author, Buyer Beware
Co-Author Dinner PAWsible
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