The government of the United Kingdom already has a policy on its use of palm oil and states :
"Palm oil production is often linked to deforestation and peatland drainage,mainly in Indonesia and Malaysia. This has major impacts on biodiversity, climate change and also land rights for local people."
France and Germany made a commitment in September 2013 to the use of sustainable palm oil as well by 2015.
Americans must not be used as unwitting partners in causing global warming when we are fed unsustainable palm oil nor can we be part of the problem of wildlife extinction .We must stand up in the fight against climate change when better versions of the product are readily available.
Please sign this petition and urge all your friends from Ohio to add their voice. Christine White who is leading this campaign in Ohio, will hand deliver it to Senator Sherrod Brown!
As an American citizen living in Ohio, I am concerned that we are directly contributing to global warming and wildlife extinction when we buy products containing unsustainable palm oil.
For many years, tropical forests have been under siege by multiple industries, but never more than it is today by the palm oil industry. Right now, palm oil is found in over 50% of all packaged products in American supermarkets and consumers of these products are unknowingly driving the forests and its inhabitants to extinction.
It is well known that the rainforests of the world serve as the lungs of our planet. With heavy deforestation, massive amounts of carbon are released into the environment further warming the climate and propelling extreme weather conditions. Deforestation accounts for more greenhouse gas emissions than that produced by transport and industry globally.
Palm oil in itself is not necessarily bad. However, there are serious concerns when the production of palm oil is not sustainable. Land is cleared by “slash and burn” agriculture, a method in which fires are deliberately set to clear land making way for new planting. When the forest is cleared in this manner and replaced with oil palm monoculture, between 80 and 100% of all mammals, reptiles and bird species perish.
The illegal forest fires that take place every year in Indonesia are not started accidentally, but are intentionally set making deforestation by “slash and burn” a leading contributor of greenhouse gases. Peatlands are also drained and cleared for the development of palm oil, thus heavily multiplying greenhouse gas emissions. This process of developing new plantations is unsustainable and has resulted in the loss of large forest areas with high conservation value.
Human rights abuse and child labor are rampant in the palm oil industry. We’re starting to see more and more accusations of land grabs by industrial palm companies working in Malaysia, Indonesia and increasingly Africa, where millions of hectares have been slated for conversion to oil palm.
We can influence what is happening in palm oil-producing countries by adopting a governmental policy similar to the one that the United Kingdom has on palm oil. Key details from the UK statement on palm oil:
• There is growing awareness that the greater production of palm oil can increase the risk of destruction to tropical rainforest and drainage of peatland areas causing major impacts on biodiversity, climate change and the land rights of local peoples.
• In recent years a number of organizations have taken steps to try to produce and source their palm oil more sustainably. By taking steps to source their palm oil more sustainably, UK companies at all stages of the supply chain can help to reduce the negative impacts associated with palm oil production.
• The UK is one of the most influential players in that EU market. Through co-ordinated action, the UK supply chain can influence other consumers and producers and support the global drive to make palm oil production and consumption more sustainable. By implementing a policy where only sustainably produced palm oil will be purchased and used in all government institutions, it has created a sudden interest from palm oil producers and their customers to produce a better palm oil.
Senator Brown, Governor Kasich, the consumption of products containing unsustainable palm oil will contribute to the devastation caused to tropical ecosystems and biodiversity and accelerate climate change. I urge the government of the USA to make strong commitments to source only Certified Sustainable Palm Oil and to encourage the private sector to match these commitments.
The American government must not allow its citizens to be made unwitting partners in deforestation, climate change, extinction, and biodiversity loss as well as denying the rights of local and indigenous peoples through consumption and use of unsustainable palm oil. We must stand up in the fight against climate change and insist our products are produced sustainably. The USA should be adopting similar palm oil initiatives and commitments that are already in place in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, UK, and Germany.
I hope I can count on you to help ensure that the USA adopts a strong policy on the use of certified sustainable palm oil.