India searching for statement retraction once Harvard prof calls coconut oil ‘pure poison’

NEW DELHI—When medical scientist Karin Michels of Harvard University gave a lecture on nutrition in FRG this summer, she most likely failed to expect to line off a global incident.

But once she referred to as coconut oil “pure poison” and “one of the worst foods you’ll be able to eat,” Asian country determined to fireplace back.

The comments by Michels sparked a combination of concern and mental rejection in a very country wherever coconut oil may be a dietary staple, particularly within the south (Kerala, a state in southern Asian country, is translated as “land of the coconut palm.”)

The comments by Michels area unit “unsubstantiated and inconsiderate,” wrote B.N. Srinivasa Murthy, India’s husbandry commissioner, in a very letter emailed last week to the dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan faculty of Public Health.


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He asked the dean to require “corrective measures” and retract the comments. Michels created “negative statements against the revered crop of billions,” wrote Murthy.

In Associate in Nursing interview, Murthy aforesaid that the lecture by Michels came up at a gathering last month in the capital of Thailand of the Asia Pacific Coconut Community, a gathering of officers from eighteen countries. “There was a bit little bit of anguish,” he said. “I questioned what had created her create this statement.”

The skirmish between Asian country and Michels is an element of the larger war over coconut oil.

Starting in 2011, coconut oil went from a little-known item in food stores to a “superfood” that galvanized its own craze within u. s. hailed for Associate in Nursing array of unverified health edges. Enthusiasts use it in smoothies and even in occasional.

But coconut oil is additionally high in saturated fat, that may be a leading explanation for cardiovascular disease. Last year the Yankee Heart Association suggested against the employment of coconut oil as a result of overwhelming it raises a harmful type of cholesterin, very like butter and palm oil.

Rajesh Muralidharan, a medical specialist in Kerala, aforesaid that his initial reaction upon learning of the lecture by Michels was “Oh, not again” and to consider all the queries he would face from his patients.

“The answer is that we tend to don’t have a solution,” he said. “What we tend to try and tell them is all oils have fat and to use as very little as doable.”


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It is not possible to imagine Keralan cooking while not coconut oil, he added. “Our ancestors are victimisation this for ages,” he said. “It’s one thing within the blood, the style of coconut oil.”

A representative for Harvard’s Faculty of Public Health declined to comment. Michels, United Nations agency is Associate in Nursing adjunct prof at Harvard and conjointly a prof at the University of Freiburg failed to answer a call for participation for comment.

V.S. Sunil Kumar, Kerala’s minister of agriculture, said he, too, planned to jot down a letter to Harvard seeking a proof for the comments by Michels.

“Our lived expertise is that coconut oil isn’t a poison,” he said. “Without coconut, there’s no life in Kerala. that’s true.”


India looking for statement retraction after Harvard professor calls coconut oil ‘pure poison’ | By JOANNA SLATER The Washington Post [Link]


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