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BOYCOTT EARTH BALANCE UNTIL IT STOPS USING PALM OIL

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Palm Oil is a globally traded oil that appears in over 50% of consumer goods in the U.S.  It is foud primarily in processed foods, cosmetics, and soaps.  In addition to consumer goods, it is being used as a biofuel.  The global demand for palm oil has increased dramatically in recent years, leading to a host of problems.

Palm trees only grow in tropical climates.  Over 80% of palm oil is cultivated in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Papau New Guinea where it is the primary causes of rain forest destruction.

The use of palm oil:

•         Supports the logging and destruction of some of the world’s most ecologically important rainforest;

 

•         Promotes illegal forest fires that significantly contribute to climate change; and

 

•         Destroys the last remaining habitat for many endangered species, including the orangutan which is currently facing extinction and the endangered Malayan tapir (whose home is peninsular Malaysia).

Earth Balance uses palm oil in most, if not all of its non-dairy alternative buttery spreads.  (I haven't seen an Earth Balance spread without it as an ingredient, but it could exist.)  Earth Balance targets and markets specifically to the ethical vegan community--a community dedicated to not harming animals.  But, that is precisely what palm oil cultivation does.  Thus, vegans are spending their money on a product that is harmful to both animals and the environment. 

Recognizing these devastating effects, Earth Balance has attempted to minimize the impact of its use by only using so-called sustainable palm oil.  (Read its policy statement here: http://www.earthbalancenatural.com/addressing_palm_fruit_oil.pdf.)  Seventy-percent of the palm oil Earth Balance procures has been certified as sustainable by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (“RSPO”) is problematic for at least the following reasons:

·      The RSPO is a voluntary organization comprised mostly of self-interested palm oil processors and traders, growers and consumer good manufacturers.

 

·      RSPO standards are weak in a number of areas, such as doing nothing to address and reduce climate change impacts from palm oil production and not including sufficient safeguards against the further expansion of plantations in local people’s lands.

 

·      Regulation and enforcement of the weak criteria are lax, if not non-existent.

 

·      The RSPO certifies specific plantation areas, not the overall practices of a company, making it possible for a company to have some of its plantations certified while others are not. Thus, the same company that is providing Earth Balance with certified, sustainable palm oil from plantations in peninsular Malaysia could be simultaneously engaged in clear cutting “primary forests” and “rare, threatened, or endangered species and high conservation value habitats.”

Certifying palm oil as sustainable only makes consumers feel better, which encourages increased consumption.  But certification does not address the core environmental damage, animal habitat destruction, and human rights violations caused by palm oil plantations.    

Please BOYCOTT EARTH BALANCE and ask it to make a commitment to the vegan community.

To learn more about the deleterious effects of palm oil, the Rainforest Action Network is a good start:

Rainforest Action Network: http://ran.org/palm-oil

Here's a powerful movie documenting the last days of a female Orangutan affected by deforestation:

http://www.greenthefilm.com/

 

 

 

 

 



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