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Australian Bill to Require Mandatory Labeling of Palm Oil

Australian Bill to Require Mandatory Labeling of Palm Oil

An Australian bill would require mandatory labeling of all foods that contain palm oil. Palm oil, say experts, is as unhealthy for the environment as it is for our bodies. The proposed legislation would help inform Australian consumers and urge palm oil producers toward greater environmental sustainability.

Radio Australia reports that the Heart Foundation of Australia has found palm oil to contain 50% saturated fat, despite being currently categorized as a vegetable oil. “Australians consume 10 kilograms of palm oil every year and don’t know it,” said Senator Nick Xenophon, quoted in Stock & Land. Xenophon is one of the bill’s major sponsors.

Those opposing the bill are worried that it may strain Australia’s relationship with the major countries that produce palm oil. But Irwan Gunawan, of World Wildlife Federation Indonesia, dismisses those concerns in relation to the significance of palm oil’s environmental impact. Production of palm oil has been linked to the destruction of native forests in Indonesia and Malaysia, threatening species such as the orangutan.

“[Mandatory labeling] is deemed as a trade barrier,” Gunawan told Radio Australia. “But from the perspective of the conservation organizations, it is the time to start encouraging and trying to do better practices on the ground. So this kind of reaction would come from the business community.”

“This initiative,” Gunawan added, “would … transform the behavior of the palm oil producers towards better and sustainable practices, on the ground and along the supply chain.”

The bill is pending a vote in Australia’s House of Representatives.

 

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87 comments

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1:00AM PST on Dec 3, 2013

Olive Oil plantations have destroyed natural habitat and killed many species. Olive Oil plantations need to be stopped.

Show some sense and allow them to revert back to natural forests.

8:28PM PST on Dec 1, 2013

Palm Oil plantations are destroying the remaining natural habitat of many of our endangered species such as the Orangutan. They are also destroying precious Gorilla habitat in Africa. The expansion of Palm Oil plantations need to be stopped.

Show some sense and stop their destructive growth in our remaining equatorial rainforests.

3:46AM PST on Dec 1, 2013

Palm oil is not unhealthy for our bodies. Certainly not any more than olive oil. These are trade pushed articles based on trade funded research...

8:55PM PST on Nov 30, 2013

Labelling of Palm Oil is considered as a form of trade barrier, and can be challenged in court of law and WTO.
To put it bluntly, any move against Palm Oil is considered as illegal punitive measures to protect domestic production of Soybean Oil in the US and Rapeseed Oil in the EU.

It's an open secret that green NGOs in US & EU received funding and in turn does it's master's bidding.

2:22AM PST on Jan 16, 2013

What about other oils? Shouldn't all oils be labelled?
Almost all human cultivation takes up rain forest.

5:57PM PST on Jan 15, 2013

This is just another example of "OUR"govt; telling us "you,re NOT going to get this information,even if you consider it to be vital,just like Smart meters, fracking chemicals,etc; WE (the govt; know best & you,ll just accept that!

4:21AM PST on Jan 15, 2013

Make governments force labeling of all products containing Palm Oil.
Don't buy products likely to contain Palm Oil.
Boycott buying any products from companies involved or associated with Palm Oil in any way.

7:27PM PST on Jan 14, 2013

Thanks Michela & Miranda---we have to do all we can to help~~

2:11PM PDT on May 10, 2012

Signed. Don't buy palm oil, it's our strongest weapon. Our dollar is mightier than theirs this way.

2:21PM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

Great idead, I'm sure we'll get it approved.

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