Friday, 03 August 2012
A feudalistic practice in medieval Europe called "Droit du Seigneur" (French) gives the Lord of the Manor the putative legal right to the daughters of his serf. Some historians explain that the right extends to the Lord’s right to first conjugal rights upon the marriage of his vassal’s bride.
Disgusting and utterly exploitative and abusive it may sound in these modern times, but what the Mandarins walking the halls of power in the EU Commission are attempting to accomplish with their covert palm oil campaigns are no less repulsive!
Palm oil has been buffeted for years by the ill winds of green NGOs with the support of major news media organizations despite the solid science showing that palm oil is healthy and sustainable.
The latest manifestation of an organized and well funded and coordinated global campaign against palm oil has reared its ugly head in France. Food Navigator, quoting David Jago of Mintel Group pointed out that 66 food products in the first half of 2012 are now labeled “Palm oil Free” with more than half being in the bakery sector. France alone accounts for 80% of the activity with Jacquet and San Michel being the most prominent adherents.
Now an Italian think tank, Libertiamo thinks they have uncovered the real reason for this baffling activism against what is probably the most sustainable of all oilseed crops, and the reason is raising a stink all around!
What is now clear about the green NGOs anti-palm oil campaigns is that they are just part of an elaborate global campaign cynically planned and funded by the EU Commission, keen to support the EU’s indigenous uncompetitive edible oils.
In a paper entitled Taxpayer Funding, NGO Collusion and Manufactured Crises: A Case Study of Malaysia and Palm Oil, 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.
Says Libertiamo: European governments are spending significant sums ostensibly to engage in environmental advocacy in the developing world. It also noted that the degree of conservation in many of these countries regularly exceeds those efforts in Europe, as well as other developed countries!
These EU funded NGOs portray Malaysia and Indonesia and other developing countries as purveyors of environmental destruction, distorting facts and figures to suit themselves and the promotion of these myths serves the interests of those organizations who hold their fundraising cup out to governments and the public, with ever more alarming claims fuelling their fundraising!
Libertiamo concludes that 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 and neo colonial ambitions. They should both be held to account!"
Libertiamo notes that the criticisms against the industry are regularly based on claims MANUFACTURED BY NGOs that are not backed up by hard evidence!
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