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theOilPalmTruth

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 orangutans is approximately 14,613 individuals – more than double previous estimates.

There are no accurate recent assessments of Bornean orangutans; the most recent (2008) estimate was 104,000 according to the IUCN, using population density and range estimates. The IUCN says the current population and current rate of decline have not been assessed.

In short, there is no evidence whatever for the Zoos Victoria claim. It is simply unsourced, fact-free hyperbole. Pushing the idea that labelling palm oil products in Australia – which comprises less than 2 per cent of the global palm oil market – is a magic bullet for orangutan conservation is neither a useful, nor a truthful, approach. If Zoos Victoria cares at all about facts or education, it should desist from such statements.

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Pieter-Jan Hannes Unclassified

Part III – The Day Of The Race

Discover the secret of success of young and promising athlete Pieter-Jan Hannes, and his wins during an important competition in Belgium!

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theOilPalmTruth

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 from the European Commission, Centre for Global Development and other organisations, the contribution of palm oil to deforestation is lower than beef, maize, soybean, and even infrastructure developments. In fact the deforestation footprint for beef is nine times higher than that of palm oil. If Prince Harry wants commodities labelled ‘like cigarettes’, other major commodities would also need to be labelled — with even bigger warnings. Prince Harry is clearly oblivious to the fact that palm oil supports the lives of more than 3 million small farmers and their families in developing countries.

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David Martin

Landslide Victory for the Malaysian Palm Oil Food Truck Tour de France

This past weekend, Paris-based chef, David Martin’s Food Truck Tour de France, made stops in Lyon and Bordeaux, two French cities known for their gastronomy and wine, to present his new French-inspired recipes, cooked with Malaysian Palm Oil. Photos of the chef’s Food Truck journey are online here.

Chef Martin’s Food Truck was a huge success as hundreds of French consumers gathered around his Food Truck to taste dishes made with Malaysian Palm Oil and to learn more about the positive benefits of Malaysian Palm Oil.

Locals got a chance to try various dishes including the Mango Chicken; Fish fillet with coconut milk and a red Palm Oil sauce; Sweet potato fritters with spicy sauce; and the banana wrap with red fruits sauce.

Many families came with their children to meet the Chef and try his tasty dishes. Children particularly enjoyed the Mango Chicken and the very colourful and delicious banana wrap.

The crowd found the food to be of excellent quality, and were pleasantly surprised to learn that it was cooked with Malaysian Palm Oil – and yet it tasted just as good as traditional French oils.

French consumers had many questions about Palm Oil, regarding the false rumors spread by NGOs and other about Palm Oil and deforestation, or saturated fats and health.

The Chef informed them about the health benefits of Palm Oil, including its nutritional properties (including vitamins A and E) and why Palm Oil is an excellent cooking oil due to its high heat resistance.

If you were not in Lyon or Bordeaux this past weekend, you can find photos and videos about the events, by visiting The Oil Palm Twitter accounts and Chef David Martin’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

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The Oil Palm

Want the truth? Read the latest Oil Palm Truth blog post

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theOilPalmTruth

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 and allow them to be certified.

This is wholly contradictory: MEP Konecna’s proposals are actively harmful to small farmers. She also criticizes MSPO and ISPO (certification schemes which have been developed specifically to ensure greater inclusion of smallholders, and which have the support of the UN Development Programme)

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theOilPalmTruth

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 Nigeria, for example, there are more than 800,000 small farmers cultivating oil palm. Her plans would harm these small farmers, pushing them back into poverty.

Palm oil has been an incredible means of lifting many of the world’s poor out of poverty. According to one estimate, palm oil has been directly responsible for lifting one million people out of poverty in Malaysia.

MEP Konecna clearly does not understand – or  does not care about – the welfare of African and Asian small farmers

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theOilPalmTruth Unclassified

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 palm oil. Deforestation from maize and even pigs and poultry is higher.

If the real concern is deforestation and its associated causes, then MEP Konecna is focused on the wrong target. Either way, her claims about palm oil are disproved by multiple scientists, research institutions and even the European Commission itself.

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theOilPalmTruth

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 farm crops, its contribution is small.

The report states: “Ranking the sectors that are associated with deforestation worldwide, pastures for ruminant livestock production represents the largest share with 58 Mha (24%). The agricultural crop sector represents 69 Mha (29%), divided over individual commodities soybeans (13 Mha), maize (8 Mha), oil palm (6 Mha), wood products (5 Mha), rice (4 Mha), and sugar cane (3 Mha).”

The EU’s own research proves that MEP Konecna’s claims are utterly baseless and untrue. She should withdraw these claims immediately.

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theOilPalmTruth

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 is that deforestation in Malaysia has slowed  practically to zero, according to the United Nations. Malaysia – one of the world’s biggest palm oil producers – currently protects over 67 per cent of land as forests, the U.N. calculates – more than almost every EU Member State. Malaysia produces palm oil, and also protects forests. The claim that Malaysian palm oil is linked to deforestation is clearly, and demonstrably, false.