Trans Fat Cover-Up [2]

Trans Fat Cover-Up [2]
The vegetable oil and pharmaceutical industries fund a great deal of research. Concerned about unfavorable finding s that began surfacing in the 1950s and 1960s, they began countermeasure s to show that hydrogenated fats were safe. They especially didn't want hydrogenated oils implicated as a possible cause of heart disease. They financed studies to show that hydrogenated oils were harmless to the heart and circulatory system. Negative findings were ignored and even suppressed.

Researchers depend on funding organizations to finance their work and advance their careers. Consequently, researchers try very hard to produce results that are favorable to those funding the studies. If they publicize results unfavorable to the funding institution, they may not receive support for future projects. So most researchers are highly motivated to produce good results and ignore unfavorable information.

Those who attempted to publicize negative effects are faced with the threat of no more financial assistance and complete ostracization from other funding organizations. When Mary Enig, PhD, a noted researcher and cofounder of the Weston A. Price Foundation, discovered the harmful effects of trans fatty acids, she ignored the normal protocol of suppressing the information and published anyway. Her financial sources withdrew their support and all future funding dried up. She was labeled a troublemaker and shunned by the vegetable oil industry. She was forced to make a shift in her career plans. The idea of a researcher searching for truth, regardless of the consequences, apparently no longer applies. The industry isn't looking for the truth; it only wants ammunition to use in their marketing. In other words, you play buy their rules or you don't play at all.

The link between heart disease and trans fatty acids was suppressed for many years. Many researchers knew about it, but the general public was ignorant. Even though the vegetable oil industry was aware of the dangers of hydrogenated fats, they promoted shortening and margarine as healthier alternatives to saturated fats. It is very similar to the tobacco industry who denied that smoking caused lung cancer even when faced with overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Just like the tobacco industry, the vegetable oil industry suppressed studies and hid evidence. But as evidence linking lung cancer and tobacco mounted, so did the evidence against hydrogenated vegetable oils.

As studies continued throughout the 1990s and beyond, the true character of hydrogenated oil slowly emerged. Instead of being a heart friendly "vegetable" oil, it turns out it was more detrimental to heart health that any other fat. In addition to the conditions mentioned above, trans fatty acids are found to contribute to low birth weight babies, visual abnormalities in infants, childhood asthma, reproductive dysfunction, obesity, and lower immunity. If the consumption of trans fatty acids has caused you or your family to suffer from any of these conditions, you can thank the vegetable oil industry and their friends, such as CSPI.

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