Palm Oil Industry to See Continuous Attacks

PETALING JAYA, Feb 2 (Bernama) — The palm oil industry will continue to see attacks from anti-palm oil environmentalists in the coming years, said Chairman of Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) Datuk Lee Yeow Chor on Tuesday.

“With the industry continuously being targetted by the European and United States NGOs (non governmental organisations) as well as climate change pundits, we foresee that they are going to be more aggressive in terms of their approach and tactics,” he said.

In the recent years, the industry has been subjected to severe negative publicity including claims of deforestation by oil palm plantations, the decimation of orang utans, loss of biodiversity and green house gas emissions tied with direct and indirect land use changes that even the experts cannot readily agree upon, he said.

“What is more worrying is that such claims are gaining support of the European and US legislators who threaten punitive legislations against palm oil and they are not going to go away anytime soon,” he added.

Lee said this during his speech at a one-day seminar, “Reach and Teach Friends of the Industry: Challenges and Opportunities in 2010”, here on Tuesday.

In the face of such adversity, sharing and exchanging of information at all levels will be crucial for the local industry, he said.

“Similarly to maintain our continued success, we must be able to identify and rectify current and potential problems, which if left unattended are likely to cause damage to our industry,” he explained.

Elaborating further, he added MPOC had been proactive and innovative in its approach towards combating the anti-palm oil lobbyists.

“Our voices have also attracted several development-oriented NGOs who themselves disagree with the anti-palm oil lobby groups and have come out in support of some of the practices by the palm oil industry.”

He added such third party endorsements were important to give them the opportunity to fight back with truth and credibility adding that MPOC’s regional offices, especially in Europe and US were taking very proactive approach with regards to the environmental issues.

Source : BERNAMA

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