Palm oil has only recently become widely used in products. Replacing other vegetable oils due to its cheapness, it is used in everything from biscuits to soap.
It mainly originates from rainforest land which is bought cheaply by companies and then ‘slashed and burnt’ and used for growing palms.
Rainforests are not only beautiful habitat that are home to indigenous people who have lived there for centuries, but also rare and unique animals who can only survive in that environment.
Rare species of plants (of which some have been found to be of use as new medicines for serious diseases) also grow there. Orangutans are but one species in imminent danger of extinction as they lose their homes whilst trees are destroyed. The burning of rainforest also contributes to massive increases in CO2 which is a factor in global warming. Rainforests are known as “the lungs of the Earth” due to the trees’ ability to absorb CO2.
If you are concerned about this issue you need to avoid buying products containing palm oil. Check the label and see if it says “Sustainably Sourced”. Write to companies and urge them to use alternatives or use only sustainable oil. Consumer pressure will show them what an important issue this is.
After learning of this issue, popular cruelty-free company, Lush, took the responsible step to stop using Palm oil and substitute it with other vegetable oils! Recently Soyatoo, makers of vegan cream, said they use sustainable palm too. So it can be done!
To find out what’s wrong with palm oil and why you should avoid products containing palm oil, please read the Lush factsheet below.
Download Factsheet pdf 180 kb
Palm oil issue on Go Vegan Radio
Go Vegan Radio’s Bob Linden (www.goveganradio.com) speaks to Leila Salazar-Lopez (Rainforest Action Network) about the damage caused to rainforest habitats and species by the palm oil industry. One of the creatures under severe threat is the orangutans. Listeners are encouraged to check the ingredients in food, drink, cosmetics and household products and avoid those containing palm oil
Rainforest Action Network is also encouraging people to ask product manufacturers to use alternatives to palm oil.
This interview is an extract from the 9th August 2008 Go Vegan Radio show. Visit http://www.goveganradio.com to hear the show in full. To find out more about the campaign against palm oil, check out http://theproblemwithpalmoil.org
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