27 September 2012 4:15 pm

Press release: Unmask Palm Oil

The Unmask Palm Oil campaign has today applauded New Zealand First adding its support to mandatory palm oil labelling in New Zealand. New Zealand First moved to support the policy after an open letter from Unmask Palm Oil to all MP’s criticised the lack of political support for labelling.

Unmask Palm Oil, which is the campaign for mandatory palm oil labelling in New Zealand has welcomed the parties support and declared it “a win for consumer choice.”

Campaign coordinator, Ben Dowdle says that “Palm Oil has been linked with deforestation, human rights abuses, death of wildlife and two billion tonnes of carbon emissions but weak labelling laws prevent consumers from refusing to buy products containing it. Companies can use the generic term vegetable oil or over 170 different scientific names.”

“Despite it being impossible for consumers to not buy palm oil, the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Simon Bridges, remains stubborn. He has refused to consider mandatory labelling and has declined repeated requests to meet with him.”

“We hope New Zealand Firsts support will encourage Simon Bridges to do the right thing by consumers and introduce mandatory labelling.”

“Norway has used a similar policy to cut their palm oil usage by over 60 percent.”

 “New Zealand Firsts support is a step towards consumers having the right to make a simple choice based on their own beliefs. Political support for this policy is currently not reflecting the huge public support. Politicians only need to look to the backlash when Cadbury included palm oil in their chocolate to see evidence of this.”