Thursday, October 08, 2009
The End Of Econa Oil
Kao Corporation has had to bite the bullet and pull its best-selling Econa Oil from the market. The reason is concern that the product contained glycidol fatty acid esters. It was reported that glycidol fatty acid esters occur as a by-product in the general process of deodorization (getting rid of foul smells) during the production of the oil, and are contained in processed vegetable oils.
This is a mess because since 2003, the oils have carried a FOSHU Health Label, and was promoted as aiding "in the maintenance or loss of weight and fat mass, and helps to maintain healthy triglyceride levels in the bloodstream." ADM, the huge American company, has also been involved in the manufacturing, marketing and sales of diacylglycerol (DAG) oil as an ingredient for the food industry since 2001.
Well, good riddance. Unfortunately, it was one of the 555 products I recommended in my food safety book. You will not see Econa Oil in the next edition.
FOSHU refers to foods containing ingredients with "functions for health and officially approved to claim its physiological effects on the human body."
FOSHU is intended to be consumed for the maintenance / promotion of health or special health uses by people who wish to control health conditions, including blood pressure or blood cholesterol. In order to sell a food as FOSHU, the assessment for the safety of the food and effectiveness of the functions for health is required, and the claim must be approved by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.
Sounds like it is time for a review of the policies that called FOSHU healthy back 5-10 years ago. While many of us were exploring organic foods, with as little processing as possible, and no food additives, the large companies introduced FOSHU with a lot of fanfare.
Litra, a similar product in South Korea, from a food oil company called CJ Cheil Jedang is also in the news for the same reasons, CJ having stopped sales of its product.
The Mainichi: Kao to suspend sales of Econa health foods over cancer-causing fears
Major consumer goods manufacturer Kao Corp. has announced that it will suspend sales of its Econa health food series from Thursday over fears that the goods may possibly contain a cancer-causing chemical.
The shipment and sale of a total of 59 Econa products will be suspended due to their use of glycidol fatty acid ester, a chemical that could cause cancer, a company official said. Kao's Econa series, including cooking oils and dressings, have been designated as special health food products by the health ministry.
The danger of glycidol fatty acid ester has been pointed out in Europe. Japan's Food Safety Commission is also currently assessing the risk.
Blogs I Like
- Ad B: Japan Navigator
- Adventures of a (Swedish) Salariman in Tokyo
- Amy: Blue Lotus
- Boing Boing: Wonderful Things
- Brendan: UNU OurWorld 2.0
- Hiroko & Rick: Itadakimasu
- Jared B: Tokyo Green Space
- Joan: Popcorn Homestead
- Jon: Toshogu or As I See Japan... From L.A.
- Justin B: The Rational Pessimist (Climate & Risk)
- Kat: Food Adventures in Japan
- Ken: KenElwood in semi-rural Japan
- Mari: Watashi to Tokyo
- MTC: Shisaku
- Otakimura: In The Pines
- P: Pacific Islander
- Peko Peko: Kyoto Foodie
- Richard H: Spike Japan
- Risa & Kirk: Savory Japan
- Robert: Pure Land Mountain
- Shizuoka Gourmet
- Ten Thousand Things
- Tom: Kitchen Garden in Japan
Links I Like
- News: About Sweden in English
- News: BBC
- News: Der Spiegel (Germany) in English
- News: Deutche Welle
- News: FT Asia (UK, EU)
- News: Kyoto Journal (Japan)
- News: NHK World Society & Others (Japan)
- News: People's Daily (China)
- News: Telegraph (UK)
- News: The Local (Sweden)
- News: Yomiuri Online (Japan)
- News: Yonhap (Korea)
- NGOs/News: Organic Consumers Association (US)
- NGOs: Amnesty
- NGOs: Consumers Union (US) Food
- NGOs: Consumers Union of Japan
- NGOs: Greenpeace
- NGOs: Greenz.jp
- NGOs: Japan for Sustainability
- NGOs: Japan Organic Agriculture Association
- NGOs: Japan Vegetarian Society
- Shops: Alishan Organic Center
- Shops: Eco to Waza (GreenJapan)
- Shops: Warabe Mura
- Stuff: Japan Probe