Palm oil producing countries to send ministerial mission to lobby EU

(AFP pic)

JAKARTA: The Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC), a palm oil board led by Indonesia and Malaysia, plans to send a ministerial mission to the European Union to challenge its proposed directive restricting the use of the edible oil.

“We will go to the EU to voice our concerns and objections over the way the proposed regulation has singled out palm oil,” Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok said today, Reuters reported.

Indonesia’s Economic Affairs Minister Darmin Nasution and a representative from Colombia would join the delegation to express their concerns over the EU’s renewable energy directive — known as RED II — aimed at curbing the use of crops blamed for deforestation, Kok said.

Recently, the primary industries ministry had expressed concern over what it called a one-sided and biased report on palm oil-based products published by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The report, published in WHO’s bulletin, had alleged, among other things, that the oil palm industry employed similar tactics as the tobacco and alcohol industry to influence research on the health benefits of palm oil products.

Kok had said the report was irresponsible and unprofessional as it damaged the image and reputation of palm oil without taking into account research carried out by other authorities.

She said there had been extensive research done that proved palm oil was healthy compared with other types of non-palm oil-based cooking oils.

“To me, this is a tactic to discredit palm oil’s image and quality and to support the European Union in its campaign to halt the entry of palm oil into their markets,” she said.