Palm oil and the misinformation perpetuated by the mainstream media
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Palm oil and the misinformation perpetuated by the mainstream media

New York City : NY : USA | Feb 03, 2013 at 9:13 PM PST
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For some years now, palm oil has had to deal with spurious campaigns designed to stop the growth of the most inherently sustainable of all oilseed crops. In 2005, the supposed Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) published a “report” called “Cruel Oil: How palm oil harms health, rainforest and wildlife” in which they made wild and unsubstantiated claims against the palm oil industry. The report was later exposed as having been prepared with the assistance of Aid Environment listed as partners with Hivos — a Netherlands based civil society group with direct links to campaigns in Indonesia. Hivos, in turn, is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for close to 70% of its annual 100m Euro budget. More recently, an academic study by researchers Caroline Boin and Andrea Marchesetti entitled “Friends of the EU.”(Vide: http://www.policynetwork.net/accountability/publication/friends-eu) showed that the EU, through its environmental ministries and commissions is involved in funding up to 70% of the operating budgets of FOE EU. These scams unfortunately, are lapped up by the mainstream news media. Characterized by too few reporters with too little training chasing too many stories, injustice abounds. With corporate takeovers, such media organizations are under pressure to deliver profits. Many of these news organizations also find themselves losing market share to free news sources on the internet. With this phenomena of shrinking viewership and readership, many of these news organization resort to cost cutting by reducing experienced reporters and recruiting smaller numbers and less experienced and younger news crews. The result is that much of the Press Releases and news stories released by green groups are often reported verbatim without adequate fact checking and research! A case in point is an article written by Ian Williams and published in Brian William’s NBC Rock Center entitled “Demand for palm oil, used in packaged food products leaves orangutans at risk.” This utterly and unashamedly biased article is basically an interview with the usual suspects wearing a different ball-gown, specifically Ian Singleton of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program! How much cache should be given to a story like this? In my view, not much, for three simple reasons. First, Ian Singleton and others of his ilk have made a career out of palm oil bashing - in fact he makes a living out of it with his Orangutan Conservation Program! Secondly, for any article of this nature to be worth the paper it's written on, it is incumbent on the writer to seek alternative opinions which he has neglected so to do! Thirdly, the penultimate para of the story gives Singleton's game away: “Now they have a second chance of spending 30 or 40 years in the wild, and of having four or five babies,” he told me as we tracked some recently released orangutans days later. There was a sudden movement of red fur through the thick forest canopy above us." What? Pristine forests remain? No palm oil companies? No "charred wilderness?" No "distant sound of chainsaws" now that he's releasing his beloved orangutans back into the wild? Italian civil libertarian group, Libertiamo has blown the lid off the entire elaborate, cynical and vicious scheme masterminded by the Environmental Directorate of the European Commission (EC) to protect the EU’s own indigenous edible oilseed industries which are unable to compete against the hyper yielding palm oil in the open market! (Vide: http://disarmingthegreens.it/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Taxpayer-Funding-NGO-Collusion-and-Manufactured-Crises.pdf) That by itself is already a blot on the good name of some of the prominent European countries which are signatories of the WTO treaty, but what really disappoints is that Libertiamo points out that the EC is fully aware that most of the anti-palm oil campaigns are based on “manufactured” and false evidence! Note: About Inc Society of PalmHugger: We are made up of professionals and individuals with a great passion for the truth. We are biologists, creative designers, engineers, business men and women, professional tennis players, stay-at-home moms, retirees, college students, filmmakers, journalists, communication experts. You name it! Our goals are all the same – to advance the cause of truth through better and wider dissemination of true palm oil environmental news and views, assisting in CSR initiatives, or developing programmes for advocacy and lobbying of palm oil environmental matters, always with an emphasis on truth. Who we are not: We are not politically linked to any political parties. We are also not donor nor profit driven. Every single cent raised through our initiatives are channeled back to fund Palmhugger programmes that require financial assistance. www.Palmhugger.org
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Note: About Inc Society of PalmHugger: We are made up of professionals and individuals with a great passion for the truth. We are biologists, creative designers, engineers, business men and women, professional tennis players, stay-at-home moms, retirees, college students, filmmakers, journalists, communication experts. You name it! Our goals are all the same -; to advance the cause of truth through better and wider dissemination of true palm oil environmental news and views, assisting in CSR initiatives, or developing programmes for advocacy and lobbying of palm oil environmental matters, always with an emphasis on truth. Who we are not: We are not politically linked to any political parties. We are also not donor nor profit driven. Every single cent raised through our initiatives are channeled back to fund Palmhugger programmes that require financial assistance. www.Palmhugger.org
PalmHugger_ is based in New York City, New York, United States of America, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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