(NOTE: Please leave a comment in "Reasons for Signing" if you either buy Girl Scout cookies or have been involved in the Girls Scouts)
The palm oil in Girl Scouts’ cookies causes rainforest deforestation, endangers thousands of species, and contributes to human rights abuses. That’s why we, two Senior Girl Scouts from Michigan, started a campaign asking the Girl Scouts USA to eliminate unsustainable palm oil from all of their cookies.
We originally learned about palm oil five years ago while earning our Girl Scouts Bronze Award, which honors scouts for raising awareness about an important issue. Inspired by Dr. Jane Goodall’s work with chimpanzees, we decided to advocate for another great ape, the orangutan, which lives in the rainforests that palm oil plantations regularly destroy. We even started an online petition asking Girl Scouts USA to make their cookies rainforest-safe—nearly 70,000 people signed.
When Girl Scouts USA recently announced their new palm oil policy, we were really excited. But this new policy just doesn’t do enough to protect the rainforest and endangered orangutans. Even though Girl Scouts promised to buy “GreenPalm certificates” (to offset their current palm oil use) and phase in certified sustainable palm oil in the next three years, the only way for Girl Scouts USA to be truly rainforest-safe is to ensure that the palm oil they buy is not being grown by a company that is clearing rainforest to produce palm oil.
Despite the fact that nearly 70,000 people signed our original petition, Girl Scouts USA says that consumers just don’t care about palm oil. Let’s show them that they are wrong.
We are running this campaign because we believe in the Girl Scout organization and its mission statement. We want to ensure that Girl Scout cookies reflect the values we learned in our years of service. Please sign our petition, and show Girl Scouts USA you care about palm oil. Girl Scout cookies should be rainforest safe.
To learn more about this issue, check out our website: projectorangs.org.
Dear Ms. Chavez,
As Girl Scouts celebrate their 100th anniversary, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with an announcement that Girl Scout cookies have become truly environmentally and socially responsible.
While I am pleased that GSUSA has taken the initiative of adopting a new palm oil policy, Girl Scout cookies still aren’t rainforest-safe. You have not changed the recipe but have only changed what is written on the box. Neither purchasing GreenPalm certificates nor using RSPO certified palm oil by 2015 guarantees that Girl Scout cookies are produced in a way that doesn’t destroy rainforest, endanger animals like orangutans, and contribute to human rights abuses.
It came to my attention that Amanda Hamaker, manager of product sales at GSUSA, told the Huffington Post, “It is not our consumers who drove us to make this decision or expressed concern about this issue”. I am writing today to inform you that I, as a consumer, care very much about this issue.
The connection between Girl Scout cookies and unsustainable palm oil concerns me, as it is contributing to orangutan extinction, deforestation, climate change, and human rights violations including the use of slave labor. I am asking Girl Scouts USA to embrace its own mission statement as well as its Forever Green pledge by committing to deforestation-free ingredients in all Girl Scouts cookies.
Please meet with Rhiannon, Madison and their team as soon as possible to discuss plans to address this issue.