21October2017

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War in Spain against Palm Oil

Cecilia

It´s been on the radar for the last year but only in the past couple of weeks, it is more present in every conversation in Spain.

The Congress has asked the Government to keep it from the consumption for children, to avoid advertising campaigns of products that contain it and to highlight clearer labeling. Furthermore, they requested action towards banning products with palm oil from vending machines, canteens at schools and sport and health centers.

Retailers like Alcampo and Eroski have announced their intention to ban it as an ingredient in their PL products. Aldi has stated that their PL products only contain palm tree from RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil), certified, sustainable sources and they are suppressing all palm oil from their PL organic range GutBio® during 2017.

Digital platforms in twitter have arisen (@sinpalma.org /@aceitepalmaNO /@SinPalma) and online searches and online debates have increased exponentially.

The reasons are environmental (deforestation, greenhouse gasses, the loss of natural habitats and waste) and health related (bad cholesterol, cardio, lung and hepatic problems and speeding up cancer cells metastasis) On the contrary companies like Ferrero and Bimbo are lobbying to defend the use of Palm Oil. Nestlé believes that an "unjustified social alarm" has been unleashed and accuses the media of making a lot of noise without scientific basis as the alleged health risks have not yet been proven.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued a study on the toxicity of certain vegetable fats during its manufacturing process and concluded that more reports were needed to confirm this risk.

In any case, Spain is not the first country to establish a platform to defend the use of 'sustainable' palm oil. The European Palm Oil Alliance (EPOA) already operates at a European level with a similar purpose and groups subgroups from countries as varied as Italy, France, Belgium or Denmark.

From the consumer point of view, the damage is done. Palm Oil free products or at least Palm oil RSPO certified, from sustainable sources, will soon be a must to deal with the Spanish market.

For more information please contact cecilia.ruiz@bordbia.ie

Source: Bord Bia - War in Spain against Palm Oil