CHOICE membership

Supermarket deli section

Bought mediterranean olive mix from both Coles and woolies. Noted a strange taste with the woolies olives so we asked the staff what oil they use. Coles used olive oil no surprise there. Woolies uses rape seed oil ? What the F&*%. The idea is to eat a healthy med diet. Olive oil is essential. Rape seed oil is cheaper but its also bad you. it contains high levels of Erucic acid. Cheap skates

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They both use canola oil…see the ingredients on both their respective websites:

https://shop.coles.com.au/a/national/product/coles-deli-mediterranean-olives

It also appears that all other ingredients are remarkably similar (noting that Coles includes everything except the canola oil in their olive %, while Woolworths is possibly more technically correct and only the olives make up the %).

As indicated above, neither use rapeseed oil per say, they both use canola oil and unlike older rapeseed varieties, is very low in erucic oil.

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Commercial crops for food grade oil production of Rape Seed AKA Canola are bred to be low in Eruric Acid. There is also some removal of any remaining content.

Interesting in that Eruric Acid is a useful by-product of the oil production as it’s most common derivative erucamide is used as a “slip agent” in plastic film such as bread loaf bags. Eruric Acid is common to all Brassica (Family: Brassicaceae) such as cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli and brussel sprouts and is of high content in Mustard seed oil.

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How can you be sure the Canola Oil is not GMO?

I don’t think you can. Food Standards Australia New Zealand says

Do GM foods have to be labelled?

GM foods and ingredients (including food additives and processing aids) that contain novel DNA or novel protein must be labelled with the words ‘genetically modified’.

As I understand it there is no novel DNA or protein in canola oil so the makers don’t have to label it. This applies to foods aside from the oil used to preserve olives. This suggests there may be many foods, both local and imported, that have GMO ingredients without labelling. FSANZ does not keep a list of foods that contain GMO material.

Why is this a problem?

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There were GMO Canola crops grown in Australia in an experimental plan. As I understand it, GMO Canola crops are still grown in Australia. According to my research, GM Canola is still being grown here. It is Glyphosate tolerant. Again the information I have read says there are many crops; Canola, Potatoes, and corn that are grown which are GM and have caused many health problems in animals and presumably people. There was a court case here in WA when an organic certified farmer lost his organic status because his farm was contaminated by a neighboring farm that was growing GM Canola.
I think we have a right to know exactly what we are eating. Would you not agree?

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The science has been well and truely proven…they aren’t experimental and about 20% of Australia’s canola crop is GMO.

Yes, some GM plants impact on pest animals/insects to maximise crop yield while minimising pesticide use. Because GM plants purpose is to impact on these pests, it doesn’t translate to impacting on people.

There are many things which are also toxic to other vertebrates/mammals and not toxic to humans. A good example is chocolate, while it is toxic to dogs, human can eat it without the same risks.

GM crops are regulated in Australia and if there was any hint that it impacted on human health, it would not be approved as an agricultural crop…or approvals cancelled if already approved.

This was nothing to do with health, but the transfer of the modified genetic material through polinatiin to the organic crop. The organiic crop as a result would exhibit some of the properties of the GM crop if sold and used a seed for crops. While I may not necessarily agree with the basis of the court case, it is something which Australia must accept if GM crops are grown.

Yes, if there was a difference between non-GM and GM crops. As there is no nutritional or health difference, then the only basis for knowing the difference is possibly to satisify a belief. It is bit like knowing if your food is organic irrespective of it is certified or not, endorsed by someone famous who says one should eat it and the list goes on.

If one eats processed foods or prepared meals, the çhances of eating GM increases as it is used in many products. Purchasing foods made with from ingredients sourced other countries, where those ingredients are potentially GMO, also increases one’s chances of eating ingredients from GMOs.

Labelling of GM foods has also been covered here…

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That is correct. It is a problem if glyphosate resistance is conferred on other plants as then the weeds are winning again. Note that the mechanism for this is the selection process brought about by exposure to glyphosate not by gene transfer from the GMO canola. The more plants that are exposed to glyphosate the greater the chance one will develop resistance and pass it on to its offspring.

Do you any references about such health problems in animals or people?

That is a problem in itself but it has nothing to do with labelling or the health consequences of eating GMO canola.

In the best of all possible worlds yes, we would have free access to all the information we desired regarding foodstuffs. In the real world compromises are made every day about matters of health by you, me and authorities.

What is it in canola oil that is not novel DNA or protein that you want to know about? Why is that?

There is a thread on glyphosate if you want to talk more about it, we are getting away from the choice of oil on olives.

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Cotton, Canola and Safflower are the 3 crops grown in Australia that may have a GM component. According to the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator, Dept of Health, The Australian Government.

Refer following for further details and links concerning trials.

http://www.ogtr.gov.au/internet/ogtr/publishing.nsf/content/9AA09BB4515EBAA2CA257D6B00155C53/$File/11%20-%20Genetically%20modified%20(GM)%20crops%20in%20Australia.pdf

There are no mentions of GM potatoes or corn, or of trials for either.

P.S.
I prefer my olives naturally in brine, or optionally olive oil. While canola oil is used for cooking as a healthier alternative to other options.

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