Rapeseed Oil in Spain: An Interesting Story – Let’s make learning about nutrition and ways to improve life and health more enjoyable. Among what can be done to achieve this, is to look for recommendations, supplements and new customs, but it is also beneficial to know more about the history of all the things that we can consume to be healthier.
Especially if that story is peculiar and curious like that of Colza Oil, a condiment or spice that wreaked havoc and left its mark on Spain.
What is Rapeseed Oil and what is it used for?
Rapeseed or canola is a yellow plant from which material is extracted to make fodder, biodiesel and obtain oil. Rapeseed oil in Spain was a common visitor to all dinner and lunch tables during the 1980s. It still is today in Germany, where it is one of the main condiments.
It is in fact rich in antioxidants, vitamin E, vitamin K, fatty acids and omega 3. However…
The history of Rapeseed Oil in Spain: protests, deaths and controversy
In the 1980s, Rapeseed oil was being marketed and known as a cheaper option to olive or sunflower oil. Within the economic crisis that the country was experiencing at that time, Colza oil ended up circulating among informal markets as if it were olive oil, because merchants filled bottles with mixed or denatured rapeseed oil, which made it unsuitable for human consumption.
During the spring of 1981, five thousand deaths had been reported as a result of the ingestion of Colza disguised as edible oil. At that point, sixty thousand poisoned had accumulated, according to the Organization of Consumers and Users. Of that number, 25,000 victims suffered irreversible damage.
The government confirmed on national television that it was an epidemic caused by the street sale of the deadly mixture of denatured rapeseed oil, other oils and water.
In addition to this sales channel, they were also branding the bottles of oil as if they were olive oil and large companies at that time such as RAPSA and Raelsa, which came to process it mixed with animal fats and pomace oil. This entire epidemic was known as the Toxic Oil Syndrome and is remembered as the strongest health crisis until the Coronavirus arrived.
There are still people affected by Toxic Oil Syndrome
Last year, at the Prado Museum in Madrid, a group of people protested for having been abandoned by the government, knowing that they were victims or are descendants of victims of Toxic Oil Syndrome, which brings them consequences with their health to the day today for which they have received no support.
The demonstrators continue to keep the topic in circulation and rotation, among them is one of those infected with SAT, 55 years old, who was poisoned at the age of 15 and says she has not been able to work or receive the corresponding psychological care.
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