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The Forum > Article Comments > Why palm oil does not deserve its bad press > Comments

Why palm oil does not deserve its bad press : Comments

By Tim Wilson, published 27/1/2010

Oil palm is substantially more sustainable compared with other oils: it needs less land and less resources to produce more.

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If two million workers are now reliant on the palm oil industry, that equates to a similiar amount of land that has already been cleared to grow the palms. This represents a substantial loss of habitat for whatever wild life there is in these countries. It seems like you do not have any regard for these unfortunate endangered animals.

David
Posted by VK3AUU, Wednesday, 27 January 2010 1:57:15 PM
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VK3AUU

What would you have those two million people do? The article says that, compared to alternatives, palm oil is relatively high yielding. If this is true, then making people grow and/or eat something else will cause more environmental devastation, not less. If we want people especially poor people to change the way they make a living we have to offer feasible alternatives. Or would you prefer that they starve?
Posted by Rhian, Wednesday, 27 January 2010 2:20:30 PM
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David does prefer that those, mostly Asians and Africans, gaining a livelihood from oil palm plantations and feeding billions across Africa and Asia, all not white, should exist on handouts as a prelude to dying out, while those earning a living from and consuming olive oil, soy oil, canola, all white, prosper as we deserve. For the Davids of this world, latent racists as they all are, poverty and starvation is what non-whites deserve - and will get from David.
Posted by Tom Tiddler, Wednesday, 27 January 2010 3:00:09 PM
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What a one-sided article.

What about the long-term impacts of deforestation. The worldwatch link below reveals the following:

"This expansion came at an annual expense of some 340,000 hectares of Indonesian countryside, mostly tropical lowland forests. The government plans to establish about 1.4 million hectares of new plantations by 2010, according to the Indonesian Palm Oil Commission. The industry group estimates that more than 7 million hectares of plantations have been established, leaving an additional 24.5 million hectares available for future expansion"

http://www.worldwatch.org/node/6059

Not sure how enslavement of migrant workers on palm-oil plantations is helping the poor as is happening in many cases. Nor the impact on rural communities living in rainforests who are forced out by expanding oil palm companies.

The employment argument is a furphy. How can employment be an issue when Malaysia largely uses migrant labour. And for migrant labour there is no shortage of countries recruiting migrant labour (including Australia) for work on rural properties. Where is the employment issue?

http://news.mongabay.com/2008/0917-oil_palm.html

Those in the palm-oil industry are not going to benefit from the negative effects of deforestation either. Palm oil also contains large amounts of saturated fats and are often hydrogenated and most often used by international food companies in processed food because it is cheap.

It is like saying we should still be manufacturing DDT because people will be out of work. Employment is not the only issue when it comes to the wellbeing of people.

Sustainable populations is another issue that needs to be addressed and assisting developing countries to improve social support infrastructure will go a lot further than perpetuating environmentally damaging industries which add no value to food health.

More interesting reading:

http://74.125.153.132/search?q=cache:UwasOb1T6CsJ:www.cspinet.org/new/pdf/palm_oil_final_5-27-05.pdf+palm+oil+owned+by&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk
Posted by pelican, Wednesday, 27 January 2010 3:33:02 PM
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There you go. Pelican's references say more than anyone can about the threat to wildlife. Don't blame me for the non-whites of the world shagging themselves out of house and home. They are doing it all to themselves quite well without any input from me at all.

David
Posted by VK3AUU, Wednesday, 27 January 2010 8:42:52 PM
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The bad press I have heard is that palm oil is bad for you, which probably has more effect than saving cute simians.

This article does nothing to refute this.
Posted by Shadow Minister, Thursday, 28 January 2010 6:58:41 AM
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