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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Photo credit: oneVillage Initiative (Creative Commons Share Alike)


Roopak Vaidya
Roopak Vaidya3 years ago

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.

George Stacey
George Stacey3 years ago

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.

Roopak Vaidya
Roopak Vaidya3 years ago

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...

Wong Jowo
Wong Jowo3 years ago

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.

Roopak Vaidya
Roopak Vaidya3 years ago

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

Alan B.
Archie B.3 years ago

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!

George Stacey
George Stacey3 years ago

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.

Laurie H.
Laurie H.3 years ago

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

Yulan Lawson
Yulan Lawson4 years ago

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

Yulan Lawson
Yulan Lawson4 years ago

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