Friday, 27 July 2012
As a weapon of class warfare, deception apparently trumps occupation! So it appears that the EU has decided that the messy consequences of occupation following military conquest such as the United States and NATO are discovering in Iraq and Afghanistan are something that they would rather do without. Moreover, the EU is supposed to be an economic bloc and military interventions are something best left to NATO.
However, there is still their indigenous edible oil industries to mollycoddle, especially since these industries are no match for a third world commodity like palm oil that is so overwhelmingly hyper yielding that these local edible oils such as rapeseed and sunflower are hapless in the face of the market onslaught from palm oil. So what is the EU to do?
EU governments hit on the idea of using environmental groups to prosecute carefully coordinated campaigns against this runaway freight train of an edible oil competitor, in violation both of its competition laws as well as WTO Rules!
In 2005, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) published a “report” called “Cruel Oil: How palm oil harms health, rainforest and wildlife” in which they made wild and unsubstantiated claims that palm oil cultivation was causing massive deforestation and threatening the extinction of biodiversity such as the orang utan. This report was prepared with the assistance of Aid Environment listed as partners with Hivos — a Netherlands based civil society group with direct links to campaigns in Indonesia. Hivos, in turn, is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for close to 67% of its annual 100m Euro budget.
A recent report by researchers Caroline Boin and Andrea Marchesetti entitled “Friends of the EU.” (Vide: http://www.policynetwork.net/accountability/publication/friends-eu)showed that the EU, through its environmental ministries is involved in funding up to 70% of the operating budgets of FOE EU.
Now Italian think tank have uncovered the real reason behind the palm oil campaign are to protect the EU’s own indigenous oilseed industries against palm oil.
In a study entitled “Taxpayer Funding, NGO Collusion and Manufactured Crises: A Case Study of Malaysia and Palm Oil,” Italian Think Tank, Libertiamo points out that since 2005, the European Commission has provided nearly €5million (MYR 19.7 million) to the World Wildlife Fund and €4 million (MYR 15,8 million) to Friends of the Earth. Climate Action Network (CAN) also received nearly €1 million (MYR 3.9 million) in the past two years alone.
This is corroborated by the passing of draconian measures such as the EU RED with its clear manipulation of emission savings math to stop the world’s palm oil from being used as a biofuel!
That by itself is already a blot on the good name of some of the prominent European countries which are signatories of the WTO treaty, but what really disappoints is that Libertiamo points out that most of the anti-palm oil campaigns are based, at best, on “manufactured evidence”!
Says Libertiamo: “These green NGOs have become peddlers of half truths to drive donations and attract government largesse. And donor governments support them, in the interest of uncompetitive domestic industries…”
Noting the predilection of these NGOs to make “spectacular claims”, Libertiamo observed that “one of the most commonly used is a statistic that in SE Asia alone, the equivalent of 300 football fields are deforested every hour for palm oil plantations,” a claim that has been exposed as a “significant distortion of facts” by the FAO’s recent “State of the Forests – 2011 report which observes that whilst rates of deforestation between 1990-2000 were high at a time of significant development in SE Asia, the trend had reversed dramatically between 2000-2010. Deforestation rates during this latter period “more than halved, making the NGO claims of rampant expansion entirely false.” THE END