The Lie of Free From Labels – Pietro Paganini – The Jakarta Post
My opinion editorial at p.2 of The Jakarta Post on “Free From” labels and the negative impact on consumers and sustainability. Read the full comment on The Jakarta Post
Ecco un breve estratto dell’intervento.
“Get ready, because the war against palm oil will not end as long as palm oil continues to be more competitive, better-quality and above all more sustainable than other vegetable oils, especially European vegetable oils. This is demonstrated by the fact every time a step forward is made towards sustainability, accusers come up with new arguments, without acknowledging the incredible efforts made in just a few short years, in extremely difficult geographical and socio-economic conditions. Have you ever heard anyone in Europe acknowledge the rapid improvement in the economic conditions and well-being of millions of African, South American or Asian citizens? Or has anyone ever celebrated access to education on the part of thousands of children who would otherwise be dying of hunger, without any prospects for the future? Access to education is more important than anything else for the future sustainability of our planet. In Europe, we’re more concerned about the conditions of the orangutans, or the world’s last green lung (now that we’ve destroyed the others). It’s right to fight for sustainability, for the orangutans and for the forests. As Pope Francis maintains in his Encyclical, sustainable development requires striking a delicate balance between humanity and nature. Boycotting palm oil does nothing to strengthen this balance, and indeed complicates the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). ”
“The United Nations should also intervene, so that the SDGs can be achieved as quickly as possible. To do so, it is important to keep investing in the sustainable palm oil chain and strengthen partnerships between all the players involved. A move away from this direction means denying the urgent need to invest in sustainability. Saying no to palm oil means saying no to SDGs.
International institutions should provide incentives for the development of responsible production and supply chains, and adopt strict criteria also for other vegetable oils. The use of these products slows down the achievement of the SDGs, which will not be obtained unless the alternatives to palm oil also make a commitment to guaranteeing maximum sustainability.”