Friday, August 5, 2011


Canola refers to a cultivar of either Rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) or Field Mustard (Brassica campestris L. or Brassica Rapa var.), or more typically to genetically modified rapeseed (GM canola), which comprises 80% of that sown (and even that high a percentage now occurring among some formerly wild populations) that was developed as resistant to herbicides marketed by the same company developing the genetically modified rapeseed. Their seeds are used to produce edible oil that is believed fit for human consumption because it has lower levels of erucic acid than traditional rapeseed oils and to produce livestock feed because it has reduced levels of the toxic glucosinolates. Polarized opinions exist about Canola oil and concern about its safety is expressed in articles by health food researchers, but use is advocated in some medical publications. Originally, Canola was bred naturally from rapeseed in Canada by Keith Downey and Baldur R. Stefansson in the early 1970s, but it has a very different nutritional profile in addition to much less erucic acid. The name "canola" was derived from "Canadian oil, low acid" in 1978.

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