Maggie shares this latest news. Ed
Members of the Isle of Wight Green Party are challenging themselves and members of the public to try to live palm oil-free during March. This coincides with Lent when some people give up something they enjoy as a challenge.
Maggie Nelmes, Environmental Campaigns Officer for the IW Green Party is leading the campaign, following a highly informative Plastics-Free Campaign held last June.
High risk of cancer and organ damage
“If only people realised how dangerous palm oil in our everyday processed food is to our health, and especially to young children, they would be horrified”
The refined oil contains contaminants in high concentrations that can cause cancer and organ damage. A recent study by the European Food Safety Authority has confirmed this threat.
Yet palm oil has been increasingly used by food manufacturers in recent years, replacing home produced oils because it is cheaper.
Maximising profits is more important to them than human health!
Palm oil can be found in chocolate and peanut spread, margarine, crunchy cereals, frozen ready meals, sausages, pastries, ice-cream, sweets, snacks and many other foods.
Widespread rainforest destruction
There is huge destruction of the Rainforest to make space for vast palm oil plantations in tropical zones around the world.
Loss of habitat is driving a great diversity of species to extinction, especially in Indonesia where the rate of destruction is alarming. Iconic species of mammal. such as the orangutan, pygmy elephant and Sumatran tiger are especially vulnerable to extinction.
Indigenous people are also losing their land and their forest dwellings to greed for palm oil.
Massive carbon release and air pollution
The carbon release from forest fires are adding to global warming and climate change.
Pollution is causing breathing problems in humans and endangering the lives of those suffering from respiratory disease.
Ruthless employment practices
Amnesty International published a report last December into employment practices at palm oil plantations owned by the world’s largest palm oil producer.
Their investigation uncovered widespread and systematic human rights abuses, including child labour and slave labour.
Why import Palm Oil from so far away?
Sheer greed Maggie says,
“Manufacturers are motivated by greed, to maximise their profits, because palm oil is far cheaper than home grown vegetable oils.
“In addition to all the harm listed above, we can add food miles that necessitate the use of oil and cause pollution.”
It’s not just food products – palm oil can also be found increasingly in cosmetics, toiletries, detergents and candles.
How To Take Part
“Take your reading glasses or a magnifying glass with you when you go shopping because by law the ingredients in every food product have to be listed on the packaging.”
For more information about the Palm Oil-Free Campaign, please email Maggie at firstname.lastname@example.org and send me your feedback about alternative products you have found.