Palm oil, the European Commission and Cicero
Cicero the renowned Roman Philosopher and Statesman wrote this some 2,000 years ago:
"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance."
It looks as if lessons are never learnt from history! As things stand, the EU is repeating the same mistakes that Cicero warned about. Today, the EU is staggering under a debt crisis that threatens to tear the Union apart!
Rather than focusing on clear economic policies to encourage increased productivity and exports, the EU, with their crazy quilt of ideologies have degenerated into an economic grouping that relies on subterfuge to keep their non-competitive industries’ nose above water. The lines of their games are so blurred that it has become increasingly difficult to tell where the truth ends and the deception begins!
The EU have got their priorities all wrong by encouraging consumption, excesses and leverage and engaging in covert protectionist policies and games. In every crisis come a moment of clarity and the protectionist band aids that the EU and the EU Commission (EC) had applied, for example, to their edible oilseed industries against palm oil is making the EC look more like a banana republic and third world dictator capable of resorting to anything just to keep up appearances!
Italian civil libertarian group, Libertiamo has uncovered something quite unbecoming of the EC. Says Libertiamo, the Environment Directorate of the EC Commission had been funding programs proposed by environmental groups ostensibly to promote healthy environmental practices in the developing world. Cynically and covertly however, the real intent of the Commission is to protect the EU’s indigenous edible oilseed industries like rapeseed and sunflower which are otherwise unable to compete in the open market against the hyper yielding palm oil, despite being fully cognizant and aware that the palm oil campaigns are based on creative and manufactured evidence!. This violates not only the EU’s own competition laws that the EC had so sanctimoniously enforced against the likes of Microsoft Corporation, but also WTO rules!
“There is no dispute that the palm oil industry has grown. It is a major agricultural export for countries that produce it because of strong performance as a crop. But the criticisms against the industry are regularly based on claims manufactured by EU NGOs that are not backed up by hard evidence,” notes Libertiamo!
Libertiamo points out, “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!"
So craven are the lies spewed by these green NGOs that one would not know whether to chuckle at their vain attempts to paint a negative picture of palm oil or guffaw at their collection of gaffes and misstep menagerie! Some of the claims are so utterly preposterous and outrageous that they’d make a confidence trickster wince at their simultaneously offensive and moronic claims! THE END
It looks like they never learn. The sheer arrogance of the EU Commission to believe that they can get away with such a crazy scheme without being discovered and exposed is...well crazy!!!
This is protectionist policy at its very worst! And the EU Environment Commission is to blame!