Vegans have long been averse to the use of animal-derived ingredients.
So when the Food and Drug Administration issued its initial warning about soybean-based omega-3 and omega-6 oils, they were met with a collective sigh of relief.
The agency’s statement was issued on Oct. 30, and in response to an outcry by the public, it recommended the addition of a new ingredient to the FDA’s list of approved and prohibited substances.
That ingredient is brominated plant oils.
The move is the latest in a growing movement of Americans to eat plant-based products.
While some argue that they are an ethical choice, others have pointed out that these oils are actually more harmful to health than the other oils, because they contain a higher concentration of mercury and other toxic compounds.
The FDA’s statement also recommended that companies add a label to the products stating that the oils contain “a vegetable oil containing BPA, the ingredient that causes widespread concerns over its potential to disrupt brain development and the development of neural connections.”
But the agency’s initial warning came on the heels of the FDA announcement earlier this month that it was banning the use or importation of BPA in a wide range of foods.
So why did Vegans react so violently?
The FDA didn’t specifically say why it deemed the soybean oils to be a dangerous substance, but the agency did point to a range of possible health risks.
The agency warned that “the potential for adverse health effects” might include changes in blood pressure, heart disease and inflammation of the liver.
But it also cautioned that consumers should be aware that these “possible health effects are speculative and not to be relied upon as a basis for choosing a food product from a food supply source.”
The FDA also noted that the BPA levels in these oils could be “determined by a person’s body.”
And while the agency does not yet have enough information to definitively say what that body’s levels are, the agency pointed to studies that have shown that the concentration of BPCs in some plant-derived products is higher than in other plant-feeding products.
The concern with BPAIn fact, the FDA did warn that “some studies indicate that BPA exposure may be higher in soybean and soybean products than in the rest of the food supply.”
But that’s because the agency didn’t include studies that included people who had been exposed to BPA through their own bodies or were exposed to it through eating other foods, like eggs, milk and fish.
The USDA’s food and drug agency also has a policy that requires food labels to include the chemical’s actual concentration in foods.
But in a statement, the USDA’s director of the Office of Nutritional Products and Foods, Joanne Peters, wrote that the agency “has been studying BPA for years and has not yet determined whether there is a safe concentration of the chemical in foods.”
So what’s the problem?
The problem with BPC oils is that they contain far more than the amount that is considered safe by the FDA.
There are more than 100,000 BPC products on the market, and the FDA says the average BPC-containing product contains around 9,000 to 13,000 of these compounds.
But in a way, it makes perfect sense that consumers would respond negatively to these oils because they’re made from soybeans, the plant source of most of the omega-5 and omega‑6 essential fatty acids found in vegetable oils.
They’re high in omega-10s, omega-11s, and omega‐6s, which are thought to be beneficial to human health.
When it comes to omega-4 fatty acids, the omega‑3s found in animal products, it’s the animal protein that is the problem.
The omega-7s found naturally in animal fats are a problem because they can cause inflammation in the body.
But while omega-9s are thought by some to be good for your health, a large body of scientific evidence suggests that omega-8 fatty acids are a bad thing for your heart.
The EPA’s decision on the BPC oil came a week after the FDA released a statement that called for the use “of plant-food sources of plant-essential fatty acids to promote health and well-being.”
And a report by the Environmental Working Group in October found that the U.S. is on the verge of a mass-consumerization of animal foods, with more than 400 million people now eating them every day.
But these products are also likely to contain more toxic substances than the plant-made products on which they’re often based.
That’s because, as the Food Policy Research Institute notes, “most of the plant oils that people eat in the U!
are produced by animals, most of which are farmed.”
That means that the food produced from the animals is far from being organic or free of hormones, antibiotics or other harmful chemicals