The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) today launches a new Italian-language educational platform on palm oil, to correct the misinformation about palm oil in Italy, and promote the facts about the benefits of oil palm cultivation.
The new platform outlines the environmental and health benefits of palm oil, and corrects misinformation that has been spread in recent discriminatory anti-palm oil campaigns led by Il Fatto Alimentare.
Dr Yusof Basiron, CEO of MPOC said:
“The new Italian Oil Palm website will provide scientific truth about palm oil, and oppose the anti-scientific and alarmist attacks by some Italian NGOs, with proven facts and statistics.
“The MPOC calls on the Italian Government to support palm oil, and to oppose the misleading campaign undertaken by Il Fatto Alimentare. Italian consumers deserve better than fear mongering.
“The facts about Malaysia and palm oil are clear: it is the world’s most efficient oilseed crop, provides millions of jobs, and Malaysia is a world-leader in forest protection and environmental conservation, as recognized by the United Nations.”
Malaysia is the world’s second-largest producer of palm oil and a major exporter of palm oil to Europe, including Italy. The respected analysts, Europe Economics, has found that palm oil imports contribute substantially to the Italian economy 500 million EUR in tax revenue; over 1 billion EUR in GDP; and 14,000 jobs.
In Malaysia, the palm oil industry has helped reduce the incidence of poverty from 50% in the 1960s, down to less than 5% today. It is one of the largest employers, directly employing more than 570,000 people, while another 290,000 are employed in downstream industries.
Contrary to NGO claims, Malaysia has one of the best forest protection regimes in the world, which has been recognised by the United Nations and the World Bank. It has committed to preserve at least 50% of its land under forest cover, an unparalleled environmental commitment. In contrast, Italy has only 31% under forest cover.
The oil palm is the most land-efficient oilseed crop in the world, producing more oil but using less land. It is recognised by scientists as the best substitute for food ingredients that contain dangerous trans fats. The US, and several European countries, have banned trans fats due to proven harmful effects on health.