Researchers convey, “Food firms cannot claim the palm oil in their products does not destroy rainforests because supply chains are so complex.” According to the researchers of Imperial College London, the No-deforestation promises printed on the packaging could be going into vain.
The current research focuses on the palm oil plantations in the eastern region of Asia. The study infers that these palm oil plantations are leading the Orangutans, the Borneo Elephants and the Sumantran tigers towards the threat of species extinction. This is happening due to the continuous burning of the rainforest habitats. The destruction of the rainforest habitats is not only limited to the species extinction but also leads to other environmental hazards. Some of the risks include carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, reduction in the biodiversity, and the driving the indigenous people from their homeland.
The palm oil finds its application in the manufacture in more than half the supermarket products. It includes biscuits, cereals, margarine, snack bars, shampoos and the soaps. The European Union imports the palm oil from the Indonesia and Malaysia. More than half of the imported palm oil is used as a biofuel.
Majority of the food-giants under the rising public pressure preferred to include the claim of ‘Sustainable’ or ‘No deforestation’ printed on their labels. However, the current study on the palm oil doubts the use of palm oil which is ultimately extracted from the deforestation-free process.
Joss Lyons-White says, “consumers should look at companies’ commitments and whether they were likely to meet them. The issue was complex partly because views on how to define deforestation differed between eco-activists, for example, and producers on the ground.” Joss Lyons-White is the lead author of the palm oil study report and a conservation scientist at the Imperial College.