KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 9 (Bernama) – The ‘No Palm Oil’ campaign labels on a range of food products in France and Belgium are discriminatory, unfair and baseless, says Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas.
Speaking at the European Palm Oil Conference (EPOC) 2014 in Brussels, Belgium today, Uggah said the government should end the labelling as it portrayed palm oil negatively.
“We face competitors who at times resort to numerous measures simply to defend their own local oilseed products.
“Therefore we appeal to the authorities to put a stop to this form of labelling,” he said in his keynote address at EPOC 2014, themed ‘Palm Oil: Nutritional and Sustainability Challenges’
The text of his speech was released here today.
Uggah is leading the Timber and Palm Oil Promotion Mission to The Netherlands and Belgium from Dec 8-10, 2014.
He said the Food Information Regulation(FIR) that required food products in the European Union (EU) to indicate the specific vegetable oils should not be used to denigrate palm oil.
“We have no issues with FIR, as long as it is practised in the form of positive labelling,” he said.
FIR would be effective across EU on Dec 13, 2014.
Apart from the labelling trend, Malaysia is also concerned about palm oil being singled out for its alleged negative impact on consumer health.
“Our research shows that palm oil has an equal balance of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, which provide the oil with high oxidative stability, and unique functional properties required in the formulation of many food products,” Uggah said.
He said Malaysian palm oil was also not damaging the environment as claimed.
“We are in reality exporting sustainable certified palm oil to Europe, and our producers have adopted the initiative under the Roundtable Sustainable Palm Oil certification,” he said.
The EU accounts for 15.1 per cent of Malaysia’s global export of palm oil and palm-based product and is the second largest export destination in 2013 after China.
Source : BERNAMA