Found!: Over 400 Products with Rainforest Destruction

Written by Brihannala

Topics: Agribusiness

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I’m not sure if it makes me really excited, or really sad, you all have registered over 400 palm oil filled products on www.TheProblemWithPalmOil.org!

Mostly, it makes me really excited, because each and every one of those companies is going to get a letter from the Rainforest Agribusiness team, asking them to join our effort to keep palm oil out of their products until there is an alternative that does not destroy rainforests. Organizing the pressure from these food and cosmetic retailers, we are going to be able to exert real pressure over ADM, Bunge, and Cargill, and push them to make sure that communities, the climate, and the local environment aren’t put in peril by palm oil expansion.

We are planning on starting to send letters to the companies starting on July 1st, which is why now is the most vital and important time to supermarket sleuth, and get your products posted on www.TheProblemWithPalmOil.org.

Every time we get a product registered, we find that company’s mailing address, and we send them a letter. And then we follow up, to make sure that they hear us loud and clear, and get them to commit our demands. It’s as simple as that.

Every time another company signs on to our Palm Oil Pledge, it lets ADM, Bunge, and Cargill know that there is an increasingly strong movement against irresponsible and unsustainable palm oil expansion.

In other words, the more products you register on www.TheProblemWithPalmOil.org, the more pressure gets put on the ABCs of Rainforest Destruction.

Remember, July 1st! That’s our date for starting to send out letters to companies, and the date we need those products uploaded onto the webpage.

10 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Deb says:

    I emailed the company that makes Earth Balance (vegan buttery spread) about a year and a half ago about their palm oil, and I want to post part of their response here, and get your thoughts on it. In the video on the site you linked in, you very clearly state that there is no palm oil that is known to be sustainable (i’m paraphrasing), so I guess I’m hoping to hear how you’d break down their defense of the palm oil they use. (This is a topic I haven’t learned much about at this point.)

    So here’s what they said to me:

    100% of the palm oil used in Earth Balance originates in peninsular Malaysia and not Eastern Malaysia (i.e. Sarawak and Sabah on the Island of Borneo), the main home for orangutans. As the orangutan.com website points out, slash and burn clearing methods are illegal. We purchase our oil exclusively from reputable, law-abiding plantations which are registered with the Malaysian government.

    And then they went on to talk about how if people stop using palm oil, it gets replaced with soy oil, which is even worse because more land has to be cleared for soy to get the same amount of oil.

    I don’t know much about the chemistry of ingredients or why one oil is used over another (unless they’re talking omegas, and then I’ve got a good idea), so is the reason that palm and soy oils are being used over other oils because of cost? Or is there some other property that makes it “work” in food products better than others?

    Thanks for your help!

  2. Brihannala says:

    If killing orangutans were the only problem that existed with palm oil, then maybe Earth Balance could get off the hook. But it simply is not. Every where that palm is grown– very much including Peninsular Malaysia– involves clear cutting rainforest and planting massive monoculture plantations– with serious consequences for both endangered species (the tapir lives in Peninsular Malaysia.. does it deserve to go extinct?) and the climate. It also involves displacing communities off their traditionally owned land, which regularly occurs in Peninsular Malaysia. Particularly in Peninsular Malaysia, migrant workers from Indonesia and India are forced into modern day slavery, forced to work for minuscule wages while paying back the companies for their their transportation from their country of origin. It’s a wreck.

    The palm oil that they use is legal? Well, good, but I find it hard to trust a country with routinely lax system of enforcement, particularly in rural areas. And even if legal, the government restrictions fall far below any responsible criteria. There need to be real sustainability criteria, and a third party monitoring system to enforce it.

    As for soy– there are many different oils that companies could use instead of palm– but what it boils down to is that our rainforests are more valuable than ANY oil product, and that these companies are responsible for making sure that the oil that they produce does not involve destroying our last remaining critical habitats, killing the climate, and displacing frontline communities off their land.

    Hope this helps!

  3. Deb says:

    It does help, thanks!

  4. Shannon Wilson says:

    I bought and ate some corporate organic cookies made with “organic” palm oil. They were only 1.29. That why I bought them.
    The brand is Country Choice Organic in http://www.countrychoiceorganic.com

    Thanks for your work on this but please don’t flip over or sell out on us like you did on the Great Bear Rainforest sellout, 70% of the 15 million acre unlogged wilderness be sacrificed so RAN and other so called enviro groups could claim some sort of non-existent victory.

    Take this campaign all the way until new oil palm plantations are a thing of the past and existing oil palm plantations on endangered areas are restored to rainforests.

  5. bodong says:

    Don’t worry about rain forest in Borneo. The government has a land use planning for cultivated and conservation area. I suggest you to learn about detail land use planning before comments….

    Last year I read a WWF report about deforestation in Borneo… in that report said that total area deforested in Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) is 15 million ha because of palm oil expansion…. I laughed then… because total area cultivated by oil palm in Kalimantan now is not more than 1,5 million ha …. so do not exaggerate or miss interpret data…..

    In US, to produce the same amount of vegetable oil, the farmer destroy 90 million ha land every 4 months but in Indonesia the farmer just destroy 6,7 million ha for oil palm every 25 years. See USDA and FAO report. So who is the biggest destroyer?

    If you avoid palm oil, you must also avoid soy oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil … he he he and you can use human oil? what kind of human oil? oil from sex activities…. because not destroy rain forest… oh no… excuse me, if you use condom, it’s mean you also destroy rain forest for rubber plantations….

  6. Bree Brend says:

    Please, can you PM me and tell me few more thinks about this, I am really fan of your blog…gets solved properly asap.

  7. Karl says:

    Anyone where I can start my own blog.

  8. Isaias says:

    Anyone where I can start my own blog.

  9. Arthur Cruz says:

    This makes me remember something my grandpa used to say…
    But it is definitely not appropriate just now…

  10. i had to write here

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  1. Earth Balance, palm oil, rainforests and RAN « Invisible Voices

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