Dr Vandana Shiva
The oils most Indians are consuming today, as “vegetable oil” are industrially processed imported palm oil and genetically modified organism (GMO) soya oil. Unlike sesame, mustard, groundnut, linseed and coconut these are not true oils because they cannot be processed in ghanis or through cold press.
The oil from soya is extracted at high temperatures in hexane solvent extraction plants. Hexane (CH3 (CH2) CH3) is a crude oil-based organic solvent with many industrial uses and is a neurotoxicant. No tests or labelling inform citizens about this process and the inclusion of GMOs in our food chain.
In industrial refined oils, 30 per cent “blending” in “refined” oils is legal. The adulterants are labelled as “vegetable oils”, without letting consumers know that vegetable oils include oil from the toxic GMO cotton seed. GMO foods are not allowed in India, yet Bt cotton seed oil is being freely blended in industrial “edible” oils.
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