We all grow up hearing all kind of myths. Common myths such as “pigeons will explode if they eat rice” or that “if you shave your hair it will come back faster and thicker” have been around for ages. Some myths stick with us for most of our lives, while others fall by the wayside having been debunked and revealed for the untruths that they are.
There are some relatively recent myths going around about palm oil that are being largely fuelled by the anti-palm oil non-governmental groups. The biggest of these myths is the carefully concocted lie that palm oil is “contributing to the extinction of the orangutan” and that it is “destroying all tropical rainforests”
Both of those myths can be quite easily exposed and debunked right now with some actual evidence that is not based on hype.
Malaysia is one of the biggest producers of palm oil and because of this it is one of the main targets for the anti-palm oil campaigns. They like to claim that Malaysia’s forest are under threat because of the demand that the world puts on it to supply the ever popular palm oil. In fact Malaysia has been producing palm oil for more than 100 years, and these days the country, along with Indonesia, is responsible for around 87% of the world’s palm oil supply.
Malaysia has had excellent policies in place since as early as the 1960s which ensure that the country’s rainforests and wildlife are protected from any of the agricultural activities. These days Malaysia actually has a higher percentage of forest coverage than the countries where the anti-palm oil NGOs are based. Only 15% of land area in Malaysia is used for oil palm farming. The UK in comparison uses 72% of its land area for agriculture.
Of course it is a great irony that the countries that these ant-palm oil campaigns originate from are not actually self-sufficient in their supply of fats and oils. They are still reliant on palm oil to fulfill their market requirements. In fact the EU’s importation of palm oil increased by around 12% in 2012, while the USA continues to be one of the biggest importers.
Of course these strict policy measures which are in place in Malaysia mean that the orangutan that inhabit the forest here are not under any threat, or certainly not to the degree that these hysterical NGOs would have you believe. Despite what NGOs such as RAN and WWF might have people believe, orangutans continue to thrive under the protective conditions in Malaysia.
Recent reports have actually suggested that their numbers have increased rather than decreased over the years. It is thought that by the year 2020 Malaysia could have the biggest orangutan population as the government continues to put measures in place to ensure their protection.
This clearly flies in the face of what the NGOs have been saying. The myths that are constantly being broadcasted by these misguided NGOs are not your average myth because these are extremely dangerous. These myths can have a serious impact on people’s lives, not least the thousands of small farmers who depend on oil palm agriculture for their livelihood. With the NGOs wielding such political power, it is inevitable the little guy at the bottom will become the victim.
According to Wikipedia “Myths may arise as either truthful depictions or overelaborated accounts”, and it is clear that wild NGO claims can be safely disregarded along with all other myths that distract us all from the actual truth. THE END