New Delhi, Decembery 5th 2014: Jivo Canola oil, the largest importer of Canadian Rapeseed or Canola Oil in India, has been asked to withdraw or modify its advertisements latest by the 15th of December, by the Advertising Standards Councils of India. ASCI has concluded that the claims that genetically engineered Canola oil consumption is the way to ‘Stay Fit And Fabulous’, that it is a food choice for preventing heart diseases, boosting memory, preventing cancer, relieving joint pain etc and is beneficial to diabetic and obese patients and also that it is the  ‘The World’s Most Preferred Healthy Cooking Oil’ have no scientific evidence and could not be substantiated by the advertiser.

The ASCI took action on a complaint filed by Rachna Arora on October 31st, 2014. Ms. Arora has been working to bring about consumer awareness on the risks of using genetic engineering technology in food and farming for the past five years.

Jivo Canola Oil published a 4 page supplement titled Healthy Times. This was a part of the main Hindustan Times newspaper, Gurgaon edition, October 12th, 2014.  The four page supplement included one full page and another half page ad along with various articles to promote the consumption of Canola oil in general and the specific brand of genetically engineered Canola oil in particular.

ASCI found that the claims made in the advertisement were not substantiated under the code I.1. of ASCI which has been laid down ‘to ensure the truthfulness and honesty of representations and claims made by advertisements and to safeguard against misleading advertisements’.

“What’s unfortunate is that they are selling unsafe and controversial products to us and getting away with their lies. I wish we had systems in place to penalize companies making such false claims blatantly with complete disregard to human health. People suffering from Cardiac conditions, diabetes, joint pains, cancers etc are already of very fragile health and to impel them to consume Canola oil is unethical and inhuman. It’s a shame that they are getting away so easily.  I pray for the day when regulating bodies like ASCI would have the power to penalize, black list and demand public apology from such advertisers. For now, we will have to make do with withdrawal of advertisements.  Rapeseed oil has been associated with Mad Cow, Kidney, liver and cardiac diseases, According to their website, Jivo supports education, healthcare & social welfare of underprivileged rural poor, by building schools, hospitals & welfare centers in rural India! How crooked and deceitful is this, said Arora.

The Jivo plant was inaugurated by Mr Gerry.Ritz (Agriculture minister of Canada) in 2010 in Kundli, Haryana. According to the company website the former director of Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University, Shri Iqbal Singh is the man behind Jivo.

Its estimated that, Canola contributes about $20 Billion  to the Canadian economy. India is a huge market for these multinational companies.


The Advertising Standards Council of India’s Consumer Complaints Council gave the advertiser many weeks to come up with a response and proof to substantiate their claims. CCC upheld Ms. Arora’s  complaint and communicated this to her on the evening of the 4th of Dec.


Rachna Arora, in her complaint to ASCI dated October 31st 2014,   challenged the claims made by Jivo Canola Oil’  and pointed out that the advertisements promote a toxic food to the public.

ASCI had forwarded the complaint to the advertiser for their comments. ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council then discussed the complaints in meetings with the advertiser. On the 4th of December they informed the complainant that the  complaint has been upheld “as the advertisement contravened Chapter I. 1. of the ASCI code” . . In a written response to Ms. Rachna the ASCI representative stated, “The CCC concluded that the claims in the Ads, “Genetically engineered Canola oil consumption as the way to ‘Stay Fit and Fabulous’, as a food choice for preventing heart diseases, boosting memory, preventing cancer, relieving joint pain etc., good for diabetes, good for the waist line and ‘The World’s Most Preferred Healthy Cooking Oil’, were not substantiated with scientific evidence. The Ads also did not have any qualifiers for these claims. The print Ads contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code.

We have advised the advertiser to withdraw or modify the ad before December 15, 2014.”

Chapter I. 1. of the ASCI code  states the following:

Advertisements must be truthful. All descriptions, claims and comparisons which relate to matters of objectively ascertainable fact should be capable of substantiation. Advertisers and advertising agencies are required to produce such substantiation as and when called upon to do so by the Advertising Standards Council of


For more information, contact:

Rachna Arora : +91 9811746647



1.      Complaint made by  Rachna Arora

2.      Decision by consumer complaint council communicated to the complainant

Press Release of “Public Awareness on Genetically Modified Foods” 


Rachna Arora

Convener – Public Awareness of Genetically Modified Foods


Mobile – 9811746647

Email –

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