Focus View
The hypocrisy of the European Union
FocusM team | 03 Nov 2017 00:30
Despite Malaysia’s best efforts, the European Parliament (EP) is all set to impose curbs on palm oil imports. 

On April 4, the EP passed the Palm Oil and Deforestation of the Rainforests resolution which calls for a single certified sustainable palm oil scheme for exports of the oil to Europe. Later this month, European Union (EU) countries are set to individually rectify this resolution, after which it will be enforced early next year.
The resolution is based on the premise that oil palm development is one of the main drivers of deforestation and climate change. Thus, Malaysian palm oil exports to the EU will be blocked.   

A Malaysian bi-partisan parliamentary committee recently spent nine days in Brussels trying to convince EP members but to no avail. The committee was told the resolution is likely to be ratified. 

The fact is, oil palm cultivation accounts for less than six million hectares or 17% of Malaysia’s land under deforestation. Why does the EP choose to ignore this?   

We cannot understand the obstinacy and hypocrisy of the EP members even after all the facts are presented to them. Is there some ulterior motive behind their move?
If we recall, more than a decade ago, the US anti-palm oil lobbyists’ main weapon against the edible oil was that it was unhealthy. They falsely claimed it contained harmful fats. 

However, independent research later revealed palm oil is in fact a healthy oil rich in vitamin E and is good for the heart. Palm oil has proven to have better health properties than soy oil. 

The anti-palm oil lobbyists then turned their attention to other ways of attacking palm oil. This time, they charged that oil palm cultivation was endangering the orang utan in Malaysian forests.

That, too, eventually failed when their accusations were proven to be false. Their latest tactic is to claim that forests are being destroyed to cultivate oil palm despite Malaysia’s strict laws on deforestation.

All these smear tactics against palm oil are nothing more than attempts by powerful lobbyists to protect other oils which compete with palm oil. After all, Malaysia exported RM10.23 bil worth of palm oil and palm oil products to the EU last year.

Malaysia must, once and for all, take its case to the World Court to ensure the truth prevails and justice is done. 

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