Claim- Reuters ran a news piece with the headline “Plantations seen behind more than half Malaysian Borneo deforestation”. The story is based on a paper by CIFOR researchers.

Truth:

The story implies that Malaysia is an environmental bad-guy, and that plantations are the culprit.

But here are the facts. The dramatic headline is not in any way justified when you examine the actual data from the research.

The study looks at deforestation in Borneo between 1973 and 2015.

In Malaysian Borneo in 1973, total forest area was 15.1 million ha – a full two-thirds of the land area. … Read More

Claim- Food ‘journalist’ Joanna Blythman claims that food manufacturers should ‘eliminate palm oil’ because it is the ‘dirtiest ingredient on our shelves’.

Truth:

Blythman has a habit of dog-whistling on food. She’s gone after quinoa previously, only to have her story debunked by economists. She’s hounded respected academics for publishing research on organic food that she disagreed with, and drawn ire from medical researchers for her ‘emotional’ approach to organics.

Blythman claims that palm oil is a ‘driver of rainforest destruction’. As has been pointed out by a range of research … Read More

Claim- The NGO Union Concerned of Scientists has admitted palm oil deforestation is around one-tenth of commodities such as beef, and significantly lower than soy and maize.

Truth:

The UCS statement is a self-described mea culpa that shows MPOC has been right all along.

MPOC and other palm oil advocates have been writing about this for years. We have pointed to studies from the European Commission, the Centre for Global Development and Climate Focus that have proven the clear hypocrisy from environmental campaigners that are prepared to go after palm oil on deforestation grounds, but ignore … Read More

Making Palm Oil ‘Socially Unacceptable’

The campaign against palm oil is ever-evolving. In the 1980s and 1990s, the US soybean lobby campaigned on health grounds. Since 2000, the campaign shifted to environmental concerns, largely supported by the rapeseed and sunflower industries in Europe and led by radical Green NGOs.

In recent years this has taken on a new and more comprehensive approach. Its clear objective is to make palm oil ‘socially unacceptable’. This new approach … Read More

#Policy News

Claim- A World Bank education policy analyst has claimed in The Diplomat that the blame for last year’s haze crisis on global “rapacious palm oil companies” and demand for “dirty palm oil”.

Truth

The article in The Diplomat is replete with untruths and previously-debunked claims.  The most egregious is the attempt to blame palm oil. It is a lazy conclusion, that ignores clear evidence to the contrary.

It is generally understood by forest and environment experts in the field that the causes of the fires are complex. However, even a basic look at the available satellite data for Sumatra – the … Read More

Claim- ‘Kids Cut Conflict Palm Oil’ is a group of school children claiming that palm oil is harming wildlife and causing broader environmental problems in Southeast Asia.

Truth:

This group of well-meaning schoolchildren is being ruthlessly exploited by hidden NGOs with an aggressive anti-palm oil agenda. It is sad to see the lengths that the NGOs will go: using Western expat kids as props to attack small farmers of palm oil.

The facts: Millions of children from small farmer families across less wealthy parts of Indonesia and Malaysia – have had their lives transformed by oil palmRead More

Claim- New Yorker Endorses #FakeNews!: A recent article in the New Yorker implied in no uncertain terms that there is a link between palm oil and violence.

Truth:

Here are the facts. First, this is not a journalistic article. It is environmental propaganda. The New Yorker actually admits this. In very small print at the foot of the article, it is acknowledged that the piece is supported by FERN, a radical Green NGO that consistently makes false claims.

The FERN-supported New Yorker piece attempts to link violence with oil palm plantations in different parts of … Read More

Claim- A recent documentary on palm oil plantations in Africa claims that recreating an experiment undertaken at a Swedish University proves that palm oil is unhealthy.

Truth:

The documentary is deliberately misleading. The experiment in question was not about palm oil; but rather about saturated fats in general . Nutritionists pointed out in follow-up articles that saturated fat intake should not be blamed on palm oil – the biggest source of saturated fats are dairy and meat products.

The paradigm on saturated fats is rapidly changing, as more and more research shows that the old, outdated … Read More

Claim- Jenny Gray, Chief Executive of Zoos Victoria in Australia, claims that orang-utan numbers are declining by around 1,000 individuals annually – and that palm oil labelling can stop this. Is this true?

Truth

The original claim that orang-utans are declining by 1,000 per year was first published in early 2001 by Dutch researcher Carl van Schaik. The research referred to the specific years of 1998 and 1999 – almost 20 years ago – and specifically to the Sumatran sub-species of orangutan. However, this ancient statistic has not survived the test of time. According to modern, more recent estimates, the population of Sumatran … Read More

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