Malaysian Palm Oil Council cautions attacks on sustainable crops harms economic growth, environment
17 February 2010, MALAYSIA – In response to Monday’s Inside Out West program report on palm oil on the BBC, Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) chief executive officer Dr. Yusof Basiron issued the following statement:
“A misguided campaign by environmental activists to stop use of clean biofuel for power generation will deny environmentally-conscious power consumers in the United Kingdom an opportunity to both reduce emissions and support the poor in developing countries.
“While UK households want the choice to buy power produced by low emissions biofuels, groups like Friends of the Earth fervently oppose their right to do so. These large green lobbies argue the only way to reduce emissions is to raise overall power costs; they oppose effective substitutes such as biofuels.
“These groups masks their ulterior strategy by attacking the lowest cost and most efficient biofuel: palm oil. Though these groups assert it reduces greenhouse gases, destroys forests and harms biodiversity, the facts show these claims are at best grossly exaggerated and at worst deliberately misleading.
“The real story is that palm oil offers the best biofuel. Technical standards easily demonstrate this. Its uses less energy and generates more energy than any other biofuel. Palm oil is also an effective greenhouse gas sink.
“Furthermore, the palm oil industry is one of the most successful crops in the developing world for reducing poverty. Unlike many other world scale commodities, 40 percent of producers are small holders, many formerly landless people.
“Regrettably the BBC has chosen to air very on-sided documentary which reports very selectively on the facts.
“If this campaign succeeds the losers are environmentally conscious energy consumers in the UK and the poor in the developing world.”