If you kick the can down the road, you delay a decision in hopes that the problem or issue will go away or somebody else will make the decision later! That unfortunately, is what the European Commission (EC) is exactly doing with the palm oil conundrum.
Tasked with protecting the EU’s own indigenous edible oil industries such as rapeseed and sunflower oil which are hapless in the face of a market onslaught from the rampaging hyper yielding palm oil, the EC elected to take the low road. By funding campaigns by an assortment of green groups through its Environment Directorate ostensibly to encourage good environmental practices in the developing world, the EC but in reality the campaigns were designed to erect artificial trade barriers.
In an embarrassing expose, Italian civil libertarian group, Libertiamo points out, in a carefully researched paper called “Taxpayer Funding, NGO Collusion and Manufactured Crises: A Case Study of Malaysia and Palm Oil,” 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.
To make matters worse, Libertiamo notes that the EC is fully aware that “the criticisms against the industry are regularly based on claims manufactured by EU NGOs that are not backed up by hard evidence!”
Having been thus exposed, you would think that the EC would make a decision to stop this dishonorable vision to protect stop palm oil at all costs. However, in their obsessive mission to protect the EU’s edible oilseed industries and to help restore some economic order to a regional grouping fallen on emasculated times, has just taken on a more sinister note with the EC choosing to kick the can down the road!
Palm oil campaigns are seeded and managed across regions to create the impression that the palm oil campaigns are unplanned, popular and spontaneous! A broad range of green NGO’s plus even zoos, girl scouts (or rather the adults behind the girl scouts) and politicians from across the globe are recruited to the cause.
And so the EC’s green surrogates having failed despite the assistance of misguided politicians like Nick Xenophon in Australian who proposed the ill-fated "Food Standards Amendment (Truth in Labelling Palm Oil) Bill 2010" and French Senator Yve Daudigny's failed "Nutella Tax" Bill to impose a 300 per cent increase in French taxes on foods manufactured with palm oil, have now turned to the Mayor of Paris to introduce local regulations for banning palm oil for use in schools or government contracts. This violates the letter and spirit of the WTO regulations and is destined for spectacular failure and will meet a similar fate as Daudigny’s “Nutella Tax” Bill!
This intransigence ignores and thumbs its nose at the French commercial court of Paris recent ruling on the case between Systeme U and AIPH that the anti palm oil advertisement by Systeme U is misleading and that dissemination of the advertisement campaign should be terminated forthwith!
Interestingly, in keeping with its strategy to achieve a wide geographical spread in a vain attempt to create the illusion that the anti-palm oil campaigns have cache and are spontaneous combustions of a growing international hostility towards all things palm oil, an “Unmasked Palm Oil” campaign has been unleashed in New Zealand, managed by the usual suspects dressed in a different ball-gown!
It goes without saying that this “Unmasked Palm oil” campaign will soon be unmasked, like all its predecessors but it does prove one thing! The EC is a cunning predator, an organization without conscience or a moral compass! THE END