8:15 am Thursday 28th February 2013
Press release from Unmask Palm Oil
The Unmask Palm Oil campaign last night launched a petition at Auckland Zoo calling on the government to tighten weak palm oil labelling laws that lets companies hide behind generic and scientific names.
The launch was held at Auckland Zoo and attending was Green MP Mojo Mathers, Auckland Council Councillor Wayne Walker and representatives from Auckland Zoo, the New Zealand First Party and many other organisations and companies.
Campaign Coordinator, Ben Dowdle says, “Currently palm oil can be labelled as one of 200 different scientific names or as the generic term vegetable oil, this makes it impossible for consumers to avoid the ingredient. A simple change to our labelling requirements would empower consumers to be able to make an ethical choice.”
“The petition is about sending a message to the Government that there are tens of thousands of consumers who want to avoid buying palm oil but current labelling laws prevent them from doing so.”
“The Minister of Consumer Affairs, Craig Foss, refuses to even consider the issue and even refuses to meet with us. Consumers are counting on him to give them freedom of choice but he won’t even acknowledge the issue exists.”
Green Party food spokesperson Mojo Mathers who attended the event says “ We are supporting the call for mandatory palm oil labelling because palm oil has major environmental and health impacts and consumers have the right to know which products contain palm oil
“Companies have an ethical obligation to fully disclose if their products contains palm oil with upfront labelling that doesn’t hide behind general terms such as “vegetable oils”.