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Researchers have demanded an independent probe into the safety of palm oil amid claims existing studies have been funded by the industry.
Palm oil is a type of trans fat thought to be found in roughly half of all packaged goods on supermarket shelves in the UK under various names.
Trans - Fats - Health - Research - Industry
Trans fats are widely recognised as bad for health, but there is significant research, funded by the industry, pointing towards palm oil as healthy.
The palm oil industry has been accused of using tactics to influence research into its positive health effects, in a similar way to the alcohol and tobacco industries.
Oil - Extraction - Process - Malaysia - Indonesia
The oil, controversial for its extraction process in predominately Malaysia and Indonesia, needs more independent research, the researchers said.
Of nine pieces of research found in literature showing 'overwhelmingly positive health associations', four were authored by the palm oil industry, found the Unicef report.
Palm - Oil - Board - MPOB - Government
This was specifically The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), a government agency responsible for the promotion and development of the palm oil industry in Malaysia.
'The contested nature of the evidence suggests the need for independent, comprehensive studies of the health impact of palm oil consumption,' the researchers wrote in the study, published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization.
Relationship - Palm - Oil - Food - Industries
'The relationship between the palm oil and processed food industries, and the tactics they employ, resembles practices adopted by the tobacco and alcohol industries.
'However, the palm oil industry receives comparatively little scrutiny,' the report said.
Palm - Oil - Consumption - Variety - Ailments
Palm oil consumption has been linked to a variety of ailments including risk of death from heart disease, high cholesterol and narrowing arteries - but the evidence is mixed.
But the researchers anticipate an increase of its use in food in the near future.
Palm - Oil - Oils - Choice - Process
Palm oil is naturally more solid than other vegetable oils, therefore is an easy choice in the industrial process.
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