First Step in Preserving Rainforests and Rescuing Child Slaves from Palm Oil Production

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Hello! I am an 9th grader from Woodside High School in Woodside, CA. Like many, I enjoy eating processed junk food every once in a while, even though they may be unhealthy. Despite being mouthwatering, an ingredient that is found in almost every single one of these products is tied to child slavery, ecosystem degradation, slash and burn agriculture, and orangutan habitats destruction. The ingredient? Palm oil. Every minute, rain forest lands equivalent to the size of 5 football fields are cut down to make way for palm oil production. Tens of millions of tons of palm oil are produced each year. It is found in 40%-50% of household products, and lots of food products too. But even on the ingredient list, its presence is invisible. It is labeled as 'vegetable oil.'

The process of planting African oil palms requires burning huge swaths of rain forest, releasing carbon that has been in these rain forests for hundreds of years. This deforestation is the reason why the Sumatran Tiger and the Sumatran Elephant are on the verge of extinction, along with the Orangutan. In 1997 through 1998, a palm oil production started wildfire swept through Sumatra and Borneo, wiping out 1/3 of the global Orangutan population.

The second reason why palm oil is extremely important to get out of food is that it is very cancerous. Because palm oil is found in many foods that are consumed by children, adults, seniors, and even babies daily, this is a serious public health and safety issue.

The last reason why palm oil should be taken out of our foods is that the production of palm oil is tied to child slavery and enslaving indigenous peoples. Palm oil executives enslave the indigenous people of the jungles they want to clear, and they and their children are worked to exhaustion in shocking and dangerous conditions, only for the profit of the palm oil executives.

This petition is asking that all products with palm oil in them list it clearly on the product. This is "step one" in taking palm oil out of our products. 

If you want to protect beautiful species that are on the brink of extinction, protect you and you family from harmful products in your food, stop child slavery, and help save our planet, this is one step towards that goal.