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American Soybean Association - health scares and smear campaigns (25/8/2005)

One of the most striking things about the pro-GM propaganda campaign is the frequency with which GM proponents accuse the critics of precisely the behaviour they themselves engage in!

Here's a beautiful example. The American Soybean Association (ASA) has been at the forefront of those, who with the help of millions of dollars from Monsanto, Pioneer Hi-Bred, BASF and others, have vociferously complained about the threat to US exports from an "anti-biotech" campaign that ASA's Technical Director, Kimball Nill, has characterised as made up of "unsubstantiated assertions" that are "untrue and deliberately misleading".
http://www.lobbywatch.org/profile1.asp?PrId=10

Interesting, then, to read the following articles about the way that ASA has promoted US soybean exports at the expense of tropical crops via a long standing "smear campaign" that has generated "negative publicity since the mid1980s". Oh yes, and it involves health scares!

Thanks to Genet for these two items.
http://www.genet-info.org/
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PCOPA refutes ASA's negative campaign against coconut oil
by Edu H. Lopez
Manila Bulletin (Philippines), 27 Jan 2005
http://www.mb.com.ph/issues/2005/01/27/BSNS2005012727319.html

The continued negative campaign of the American Soybean Association (ASA) against coconut oil has displaced 70,000 coconut farmers and resulted in an economic loss of $1.4 billion of the coconut industry over the last 20 years.

The Philippine Coconut Oil Producers Association, Inc. (PCOPA) has strongly refuted ASA's allegations that all saturated fats including coconut oil are bad for the health.

In a news conference, PCOPA director Raul Ostrea said PCOPA has denounced the long standing campaign of the American Soybean Association against coconut oil.

"It is about time that the coconut oil industry and government should present the truth and a counter-claim against the continuing smear campaign of the US soybean association against coconut oil," said Ostrea "ASA does not accept that they are wrong and still telling the public that tropical oil is unhealthy," he stressed.

The American soybean industry has revived its campaign against coconut oil and that soy oils are simply better for American business than tropical oils.

Only saturated fats from animals and partially hydrogenated oils cause high cholesterol and heart problems.

PCOPA disputed claims by ASA that tropical oils containing saturated fats are unhealthy, while those rich in polyunsaturated are much healthier.

The reality is that research has linked polyunsaturated fat to cancer and other problems. Tropical oils like coconut oil have been shown to be safe and beneficial.

Modern research has shown that not all saturated fats are alike and that fatty acids in coconut oil, the medium chain triglycerides, do not raise serum cholesterol or contribute to heart disease but are in fact very healthy.

PCOPA said that contrary to conventional belief, saturated fats are in fact beneficial in many ways.

Because coconut oil is 92 percent saturated, it has been widely and wrongly taken as unhealthy.

Coconut oil is fact the largest and easiest source of lauric fatty acid. The mother's milk is rich in monolaurin which is synthesized in the body from lauric fatty acid and protects babies from viral and bacterial infections, said PCOPA.

Dr. George Blackburn (MD) found that the research methods showing coconut oils cause elevated cholesterol were flawed and inaccurate.
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Virgin coconut oil
by Bienvenido O. Juliano, Ph.D.
Manila Bulletin (Philippines), 10 Apr 2005
http://www.mb.com.ph/issues/2005/04/10/OPED2005041032360.html

NEGATIVE publicity since the mid1980s by the American Soybean Association in the US against tropical oils, such as coconut oil, as saturated fats that can cause heart attacks resulted in the replacement of coconut oil in US foods by soybean and other polyunsaturated oils and their hydrogenated products. The propaganda ignored the virtues of coconut oil as documented by scientific journal articles, that coconut oil's mediumchain fatty acids have different properties from long-chain fatty acids and that saturated oils are excellent cooking oils without trans fatty acids, oxidized oils, and free radicals that are toxic or damage cells.

On the other hand, the recent demand for Philippine virgin coconut oil here and abroad has been increasing. The purpose of this article is to set the record straight on the unique properties of coconut oil, based on documented scientific journal articles as prepared by the NAST National Committee on Coconut Oil Research for Health. Virgin coconut oil also possesses these properties since it has an identical fatty acid composition to refined, bleached and deodorized (RBD) coconut oil.

Read on at: http://www.mb.com.ph/issues/2005/04/10/OPED2005041032360.html

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