I am not wondering about whether the particular fat composition of cottonseed oil is better or worse for you than other oils. I have heard that since cotton is grown primarily for its fibers, it “doesn’t count” as a food plant. Because of this, cotton farmers can dump all sorts of noxious substances on it that they couldn’t use on food products. Cottonseeds are then pressed for oil, and any organic solluble pesticides get in the oil. Do these claims have merit?
Those are a couple of quotes I took off a Google Search page. Going to one of the sites it showed that well over 1/2 of the pesticides used on crops in California in 2002 were used on cotton. One other fact that I know from personal experience is that when they process cottonseed oil it stinks like hell.
I am only familiar with corn and soybean oil processing.
These two do have pesticides in them. The pesticides are removed in a process called “deodorizing”, in which the oil is heated to high temperatures under a vacuum. The pesticides boil/evaporate off the oil, along with a lot of gastly other chemicals which occur natually in the oil (these compounds have very strong odors – and therefore the process is “deodorizing”).
The use of more pesticides should not have an effect on the final output, though a plant making edible oil may have to account for the higher pesticide level when designing the heat transfer and vacuum equipment.
Regardless of what is sprayed on the plants, if the amount of pesticides in the finished oil exceeds the amount allowed by regulations, the oil is considered adulterated by the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The FDA doesn’t care about the primary reason for growing the plant, whether it be for clothes or food. If it ends up as food, it’s got to follow the rules.