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EAZA Home > News & Events > EAZA NewsBlog > Posts > Proposed mandatory labelling of palm oil adopted by European Parliament
Proposed mandatory labelling of palm oil adopted by European Parliament

Months of active lobbying by EAZA and fellow minded organisations and institutions has paid off. Yesterday the Plenary session between the Hungarian Presidency, the European Parliament and the Commission has adopted the compromise agreement on food information for consumers with an overwhelming majority. EAZA welcomes the mandatory labelling of palm oil in food products. It is a major achievement for the protection of apes and their habitats and will allow EU citizens to make informed choices. The EU-wide mandatory labeling of palm oil is completely in line with EAZA's Ape Campaign objectives.

Rainforest converted to palm oil plantations, Sabah, Malaysia (R.A. Butler)

The majority of palm oil production takes place in Southeast Asia, where the conversion of tropical forest to mono-culture oil palm plantations leads to significant declines in already threatened species, such as the orangutan. The production of palm oil is the single greatest threat to orangutans in the wild, destroying their tropical forest homes and bringing them into conflict with people as they move to find refuge. Taking into account the disastrous effects of unsustainable palm oil production to the natural habitat of endangered species, EAZA believes that mandatory labelling of palm oil in foods will allow European consumers to be better informed of the potential environmental, social and ethical impacts of their purchases.

The European Parliament's adoption of the proposed Regulation will translate into a mandatory requirement in the EU for manufacturers to label palm oil (manufactured from the fruit of oil palm) or palm kernel oil (manufactured from the seeds of oil palm) on food products. Until now, palm oil has been labelled using the generic term 'vegetable oil' and has therefore been a hidden ingredient in a wide variety of food products commonly found on supermarket shelves throughout the EU.


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