Once upon a time in some tropical lands far, far away lived a flourishing edible oils industry which grew to provide jobs for many thousands of the residents in the developing lands. The workers, appointed organizations, and the government of these lands worked together to ensure that the success of palm oil did not endanger the wildlife living off these lands or cause any significant damage to the environment.
But then one day along came some spurious Non-governmental organizations from foreign lands spreading tales of forestry and environmental doom and gloom supposedly as a result of palms oil's success. These NGOs did not take the time to look at the real state of affairs in the palm industry, or take into account all the conservation work that was being done in these tropical lands.
These days palm oil’s popularity continues, and it is widely used in food products such as cooking oil and margarine and as biofuel. Anti-palm oil NGOs and others such as the union of concerned scientists continue to put considerable efforts into libeling the palm oil industry as irresponsible and environmentally damaging.
The real reason behind these slurs appears to stem from palm oils success in the oils and fats markets. Organizations in the developed world such the USA, Australia and several in the EU have developed unlawful protectionist measures in order to protect their own indigenous oilseeds against the super competitive palm oil.
These protectionist measures involve employing environmental NGOs to carry out sporadic anti-palm oil campaigns, spreading lies and manufactured statistics in blatant attempts to turn people against the industry. They have good incentives to do so too as several of the NGOs receive up to 70% of their operating budgets from the donor governments.
The main aim, it would appear, is to limit palm oils participation in the biodiesel market, which is highly subsidized and competitive. They want to divert their own fats and oils supply to biodiesel production through policies which have largely come about through pressure from local farmers. The common theme of these policies is to allow fuel tax exemptions or biodiesel subsidies for local oil seeds, while excluding imported palm oil from such facilities.
While these governments seek to put policies and measures in place that make it increasingly difficult for palm oil to enter these supposedly free markets, less than illustrious NGOs such as the Rainforest Action Network, World Wildlife Fund, and Friends of the Earth seem focused primarily on enriching themselves. Their illogical campaigns come up lacking in one main ingredient though, truth.
There have been consistent policies in place since as far back as 1960 that have been designed to ensure that countries such as Malaysia maintain sufficient rainforest coverage while protecting the wildlife at the same time. These policies have helped to ensure that one of the world’s largest producers of palm oil, Malaysia, retains over 55.9% percent of natural rainforest coverage CIA World FactBook 2011). This is a far higher percentage when compared to many of the very same developed countries where these NGOs are based.
While palm oil is accused of deforestation in countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia, places like France uses 53.7% of its land area, an area much larger than Malaysia, and only retains 28.5% forest coverage. France’s deforestation is a whopping 71.5%, while Malaysia is just 44%. It beggars belief how the confused NGOs could fail to see the gap in comparison.
This is no fairytale, but like every story there is good and evil. In this case the evil is quietly masquerading as a force for good, while secretly fulfilling its own evil agenda, selfishly ignoring the real story behind it all. THE END