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Palm Oil: The sheer naiveté of the European Commission

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Written By Olivia Williamson
Friday, 21 September 2012

My boys and I were lying on our backs in the yard watching the clouds drift by one day many years ago. “Dad,” one asked, “why do clouds float?” “Well, son,” I began, intending to give him the benefit of my vast knowledge, but then I lapsed into silence. “I don’t know,” I admitted, “but I’ll find out for you.”

The answer, I discovered, is that condensed moisture, descending by gravity, meets warmer temperatures rising from the land. That moisture then changes into vapor and ascends back into the air. That’s a natural explanation for the phenomenon.

One would think that there is a natural explanation for the palm oil campaigns launched by green groups over the past years. However, it would appear that the reasons and motives behind the green campaigns are far more sinister than what it was contrived to look like.

Superficially, it looked like the campaigns were designed to encourage healthy environmental practices in developing countries. However, in reality the primary purpose of the campaigns against palm oil was to erect artificial barriers against palm oil to protect the EU’s own indigenous oilseed crops such as sunflower and rapeseed oil!
The first inkling that something was not kosher with these campaigns when researchers Caroline Boin and Andrea Marchesetti published a study in 2010 entitled “Friends of the EU.”
(Vide: which showed that the European Commission (EC), through its environmental ministries was involved in funding up to 70% of the operating budgets of FOE EU which then proceeded to launch intense anti-palm oil campaigns!

In late 2011, Libertiamo, an Italian based civil libertarian group finally blew the cover of the EC when it published an indepth study called “Taxpayer Funding, NGO Collusion and Manufactured Crises: A Case Study of Malaysia and Palm Oil.”, in which Libertiamo points out that the real reason behind the EU Commission’s bizarre funding of environmental NGOs to carry out vicious anti-palm oil campaigns that they are aware are based on false and manufactured evidence is to erect artificial trade barriers against palm oil to prevent competition against the EU’s own edible oil industries such as rapeseed and sunflower oil!

Says Libertiamo: “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.”

The gravamen of the charge against the EC is not so much the funding but the fact that the EC is aware that the palm oil campaigns funded by them are based almost entirely on cooked up and manufactured evidence !  “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!" notes Libertiamo.

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!"

In the final analysis, it is indeed shocking that the EC should even attempt something so crass and blatantly immoral and dishonest in the belief that their real motives for funding the anti-palm oil campaigns can remain cloudy and ephemeral forever! In our view, the sheer naiveté of that is staggering! THE END


SinbadII  23. September 2012 at 05:40 pm

Shocking! Can't belive the European Commission can be such closet crooks!

Joel  19. October 2012 at 12:14 am

The EC are the ones who are naive thinking they can deceive Asians and Africans forever.

RayLey3  19. October 2012 at 12:20 am

The EC should not accuse the 3rd world countries of harming nature with the EC's trumped up charges. They should act fair!

RayLey3  19. October 2012 at 12:22 am

EC has hoodwinked many innocent people and nations for so long. It has got to stop!

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