There are attempts right now to boycott palm oil into Europe. European parliamentarians claim that palm oil grown in Malaysia and Indonesia are not healthy and is the leading cause of deforestation.
Europe is also accusing palm oil as the main reason why so many orang utans and baby elephants and other animals lose their habitats and die in the forest.
This is all not true and here are the reasons why.
Soyabean oil and rapeseed oil industry is jealous of palm oil
The main reason why Europe wants to boycott palm oil is because they are jealous of palm oil.Palm oil has been proven to be more healthier than soyabean and palm oil market share is growing all around the world.
That is why the European lawmakers are limiting access of palm oil into Malaysia as they want to protect their
own soyabean and rapeseed farmers as well as other vegetable oils such as canola and corn.
Palm oil is much healthier than soyabean oil
In the 1980s, the American Soyabean Association attacked the palm oil industry saying that it is not healthy. The Malaysian Palm Oil Board defended the accusation by doing research and development activities. Today, numerous research by Malaysian Palm Oil Board scientists have show that palm oil is much healthier
than soyabean oil. All these findings are published in various medical journals and proven scientifically. Palm oil is in fact more healthier than soyabean oil.
Palm oil is more popular than soyabean
Palm oil is now getting more and more popular all over the world and is used in more than 100 countries. Some food manufactures in the West such as Nutella and Oreo prefer to use palm oil rather than other vegetable oil. Bloomberg reported on May 18 that palm oil is in all food items from pizza dough to ice cream and shampoo and sweetened condensed milk.
Soyabean oil however is not used in many food items. That is why there are attempts to put palm oil in a negative ligth.
Palm oil is the world’s most used cooking oil
Bloomberg also reported that palm oil is the world’s most-used cooking oil compared to other vegetable oils such as canola, corn or rapeseed.
Housewives from all around the world prefer to use palm oil rather than other oils as it is cheap, non-sticky and adds a nice flavour to food.
According to data from Gro Intelligence, global per capita consumption of palm oil has more than doubled since 2000 to 7.7 kilograms (17 pounds) in 2015.
This shows that palm oil is getting more and more popular compared to other vegetable oils.
Palm is the most efficient oil
In a working paper Sime Darby Berhad said, oil palm is the most efficient oilseed crop in the world as one hectare of oil palm plantation is able to produce up to ten times more oil.
Other vegetable oils meanwhile such as soyabean and rapeseed uses ten hectare of land to produce one tonne of vegetable oil.
So actually, it is other vegetable oils in Europe which is destroying the forests taking up so much land compared with oil palm.
Palm oil has helped millions of smallholders
Palm oil is grown in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria and Thailand, Columbia, Papua New Guinea and Ecuador. All these countries are part of the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries and in these countries there are millions of smallholders as well as their family members. So palm oil too has helped millions of smallholders as well as the rakyat in Malaysia to have a better life able to earn an income.
Palm oil can also be turned into biodiesel
Another reason why European lawmakers want to boycott the usage of palm oil is that because palm oil can also be used as biodiesel. And palm oil-based biodiesel is just as good and efficient as the rapeseed-based biodiesel used in Europe such as in Germany. Because of that, Europe wants to block palm oil from getting into Europe but the rakyat in Malaysia should fight back by promoting as well as use palm oil-based biodiesel.
Malaysia’s palm oil industry practises zero burning policy
The Malaysian Palm Oil Board has been practising zero burning policy at palm oil estates since the 1980s. What this means is that once the oil palm tree grows old and needs to be replanted, smallholders will not burn it down but cut the trees down. The dead oil palm tree is then turned into natural fertiliser to be given to young oil palm trees. So the claim by Europe that Malaysia causes deforestation is not true.
Our orang utan is safe and well
European parliamentarians accuse the palm oil industry of killing the orang utans.
They say that when smallholders clear the oil palm land, the trees are cut down and the orang utans are killed. This is not true because there are no orangutans in Peninsular Malaysia. And our orangutans are safe at natural sanctuaries such as in Sepilok Sabah.
Malaysia and Indonesia have our own oil palm health and safety standards
The Nikkei Asian Review on April 17 quoted Indonesia’s Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman in Jakarta that Indonesia has its own standard called Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil. Malaysia’s Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong meanwhile said Malaysia too already has a national certification system called Malaysia Sustainable Palm Oil which stresses on the importance of health, environmental protection and cleanliness.
Malaysia and Indonesia to go all out against anti-palm oil campaigns
Bernama reported on May 18 that Malaysia and Indonesia will retaliate against countries including the European Union which boycott palm oil. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said he had discussed with Indonesian President Joko Widodo during the ASEAN Summit in Manila recently, that Malaysia and Indonesia, through the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC), would convince those countries that the negative claims against palm oil are totally baseless.
“We must tell them (countries that are boycotting palm oil), that Malaysia and Indonesia are not countries that do not have capabilities, we also buy many products from them.
“… and whoever is boycotting palm oil is likely to face retaliation from Malaysia and Indonesia.
Palm oil has been around for 100 years and will be around in the future
Palm oil was first grown here 100 years ago with the first seeds planted at the Tennamaram Plantation in Bestari Jaya, Selangor. Over the past 100 years, palm oil has helped the country’s smallholders enabling them to earn an income as well as feed their children. Palm oil has helped us a lot for the past 100 years and is expected to continue to help the rakyat for the next 100 years and beyond.