In the coming weeks you may receive an e-mail that begins “Consumer alert! Canola oil is hazardous to your health!” Throw it right in the trash: the e-mail, not the canola oil. The Akron Beacon-Journal reports on this hoax and the curious story behind it, including the allegation that Canola is “an industrial oil and does not belong in the human body.” The author of this tall tale is one John Thomas, a name that is almost certainly a nom de plume. Considering that much of the same information in this e-mail hoax also turns up in articles on “natural foods” and “health & wellness” web sites (for example: Moonlight Health, Best Health, and Karinya Natural Health Products), it’s not hard to figure out who’s driving this scare campaign. The author even claims that “Canola Oil is the suspected causative agent for Scrapie,” which is a sheep disease related to mad cow. For more information on this hoax and the hucksters responsible for it, read the excellent summary at www.about.com.