Claim- British royal family member Prince Harry says that products containing palm oil should be labelled ‘like cigarettes’.

Truth

That’s a pretty incredulous comment to make for a product that lifts millions out of poverty and provides food to more than 2 billion annually. However, not surprising for someone who’s never worked a day in his life let alone was concerned about putting food on the table for his family. Here are the uncomfortable facts, Prince Harry.

As has been indicated previously on this blog and in research … Read More

Claim- Member of the European Parliament, Katerina Konecna, of the far-left GUE Group, claims in a draft European Parliament report that certification schemes such as “RSPO, ISPO, MPOCC” should be able to “guarantee that the palm oil certified by them … enables small-scale palm oil cultivators to be included in the certification system and ensures that they receive their fair share of profits.” (Paragraph 8)

Truth

This statement is once again completely absurd, and contradictory. MEP Konecna is calling for greater restrictions on the imports of palm oil, requiring significant financial resources and regulatory compliance from small farmers in Africa and Asia who cannot afford it. This will cripple small farmers of oil palm.

Yet at the same time, her draft report calls on certification schemes such as RSPO to lower their barriers for smallholders … Read More

Claim- Member of the European Parliament, Katerina Konecna, of the far-left GUE Group, claims in a draft European Parliament report that she is “fully aware of how complex the issue of palm oil is and notes the need to operate on the basis of the collective responsibility of many actors … [including] countries in which palm oil is cultivated and indigenous people, private businesses, or NGOs” (Paragraph 1)

Truth

MEP Konecna has very little understanding of palm oil. Her draft report calls for import duties on palm oil and other unprecedented hostile acts that would harm 3 million small farmers worldwide.

The MEP does not understand that around 35 per cent of the world’s oil palm area is run by small farmers.  There are more than three million small farmers cultivating oil palm around the world. In … Read More

Claim- Member of the European Parliament, Katerina Konecna, of the far-left GUE Group, claims in a draft European Parliament report that: “precious tropical ecosystems, which cover a mere 7% of the Earth’s surface, are under increasing pressure from deforestation and the establishment of palm oil plantations.” (Paragraph E)

Truth

This is an absurd statement. The European Commission’s own research has pointed out that the largest threats from agriculture for forests are beef, soybean and maize. This is backed up by research from the Centre for Global Development and the New York Declaration on Forests which points out that tropical deforestation from beef is around nine times higher than palm oil. Deforestation from soybean is around twice that of … Read More

Claim- Member of the European Parliament, Katerina Konecna, of the far-left GUE Group, claims in a draft European Parliament report that: “cultivation of palm oil over the last 20 years has been the cause of 20% of all deforestation.” (Paragraph D)

Truth

There is no substance to this claim whatsoever. The only studies that have looked at the contribution of palm oil to global deforestation refute this claim. According to the EU’s own research, total deforestation in the period from 1990 to 2008 that could be attributed to a cause was 182Mha. Palm oil’s contribution to this was 6Mha — around 3 per cent. Even then, when compared to other … Read More

Claim- Member of the European Parliament, Katerina Konecna, of the far-left GUE Group, claims in a draft European Parliament report that: “companies trading in palm oil are generally unable to prove with certainty that the palm oil in their supply chain is not linked to deforestation.” (Paragraph C)

Truth

This claim is proven to be false, by significant recent research from international institutions. According to recent research in the New York Declaration on Forests,  beef is responsible for more than nine times the deforestation supposedly caused by palm oil.  Soybean is responsible for around double the deforestation caused by palm oil. Maize causes more deforestation that palm oil. So do pigs and poultry.

The most important finding … Read More

Claim- Member of the European Parliament, Katerina Konecna, of the far-left GUE Group, claims in a draft European Parliament report that: “palm oil as a component of biodiesel [should] be phased out by 2020” (Paragraph 16)

Truth

This proposal would have negative effects on a) the EU’s GHG-reduction strategy; b) the EU’s advanced biomass plans and c) the incomes and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of small farmers.

Palm oil is by far the most efficient oilseed in the world. Biodiesel from palm oil is therefore responsible for using far less land, and far less fertilizers and other inputs, compared to any other oilseed crop. … Read More

Claim- New European Parliament Report

MEP Katerina Konecna has written a draft report for the European Parliament entitled “palm oil and deforestation of rainforests”. The report’s goal to reduce the EU’s impact on deforestation is reasonable and laudable. However, MEP Konecna wrongly targets palm oil. The report is filled with untrue statements about palm oil that are contradicted by existing scientific and academic evidence.

The Oil Palm Truth will, over the coming days, outline the … Read More

Claim- RSPO’s New Planting Procedures (NPPs) are good for smallholders. 

Truth

The RSPO’s NPPs have been subject to critical debate. NGOs have pushed for them to be tightened up since they were introduced in 2010. Producers have pointed out their problems, particularly for small farmers.

At last week’s RSPO meeting the NPPs were rolled back for small farmers.

The RSPO meeting was notable for not one, but two, motions by different producer groups calling for a review and temporary suspension … Read More

Claim-The EU’s Roadmap on Trans Fats states that replacing industrial Trans Fats with Palm Oil would have negative environmental impacts.

Truth:

This is yet another example of suboptimal policymaking from the European Commission and disregards global consensus on the need to remove TFAs from the food system.  In June 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took measures towards removing trans fats from processed foods by banning it from the food supply chain within three years. The FDA says that trans fats are not ‘recognised as safe’ and the … Read More

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