Friday, August 19, 2011

A Scam Behind the Australian Palm Oil Labelling Bill?

Western NGOs have been using the Victoria Zoos network to mount anti palm oil campaigns in Australia by making allegations linking palm oil production to deforestation and orang utan habitat destruction. Heightened publicity is needed in these campaigns and signatures of sympathizers have been carefully obtained to show public support. The campaign provides Western NGOs a platform for a much needed publicity profile. A Bill was then tabled in the EU and Australian Parliament seeking for palm oil to be mandatorily labeled instead of being included under the vegetable oils category as is customarily used for labelling all vegetable oils used in food products.

In the original version of the Bill which was submitted to the Australian Senate, certified sustainable palm oil was required to be labeled separately when RSPO certified palm oil is used in food products sold in Australia. Although the term referred in the Bill is to provide for “right of consumers to know to enable them to make an informed choice”, the intention was to encourage the use of certified sustainable palm oil while normal palm oil would be negatively perceived through the NGOs anti palm oil campaigns.