This is an unfinished but extraordinary cautionary tale of how things can appear legit and yet when you dig a little deeper, disturbing evidence of fraud on a scale that’d take your breath away emerges! What is even more shocking is the identity of the parties perpetuating the fraud!
It is basic Fraud 101, but the planners and executors of the anti-palm oil campaigns know that the value of the seemingly never-ending series of anti-palm oil campaigns is not in their merits but in their mere existence! They exploit this “there can be no smoke without fire” phenomenon to further their own selfish ends, regardless of the human costs that the anti-palm oil campaigns exact.
For decades now EU governments have 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 the EU’s strict 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 70 per cent 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 per cent of the operating budgets of FOE EU.
Now an Italian civil libertarian group, Libertiamo 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,” 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” and false evidence!
In truth, the true victims of these spurious palm oil campaigns are the smallholders who produce a staggering 40 per cent of global palm oil output and the consumer. How so?
Most smallholders came in to palm oil cultivation by participating in government sponsored rural poverty eradication programs such as the successful FELDA program in Malaysia of the late 60s and 70s. You can’t put a price on opportunities lost and we’re not talking millions of dollars as the multi-nationals who are ostensibly the target of these campaigns but of smallholders who are just eking out a living so they can buy a little of the creature comforts that people in the west take for granted and save some money after!
The consumer is the ultimate victim in the form of higher prices for edible oils and biofuels as these palm oil campaigns are designed really to protect the EU’s indigenous oilseed industries which are unable to compete with the lower prices of the hyper yielding palm oil. THE END