Palm oil and vegetable oil
Only 3 vegetable oils must be labeled in food products in Australia and New Zealand. Those are peanut oil, sesame oil and soy bean oil. The reason for this is that a percentage of the population suffers allergies to these oils.
All other vegetable oils can be labelled as vegetable oil. However, the label must declare the amount of saturated fat in the product. So if the label states vegetable oil and then goes on to state the amount of saturated fat you can count on that vegetable oil being either palm kernel oil, palm oil or coconut oil. This is a way of potentially identifying if a product has palm oil in it as other vegetable oils are not saturated.
In addition, if palm oil is used in cosmetics it must be labelled. No exceptions. However, it is usually not labelled as Palm oil. It is labelled as Elaeis guineensis. This is the name given to palm oil by the International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI). Misleading labels on cosmetics can lead to action by the Australian Competition and Consumer Association.
So if you want to avoid buying palm oil, when buying food look for the label stating it is vegetable oil. Then look for saturated fat. If only vegetable oil (no animal fat listed) is used and there is saturated fat in the product – you are buying palm kernel oil, palm oil or coconut oil, most probably palm.
In 2008 Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) rejected an application for the compulsory labelling of Palm Oil, arguing that they have no legal capacity to hear the case.
Deforestation is a major contributor to Global Warming and Palm Oil production is the leading cause for deforestation in Indonesia. The major change needed to avoid continued deforestation could be achieved by reducing the demand for Palm Oil, one of the most immediate and cost effective ways of reducing carbon emissions in our region.
Food suppliers seem very reluctant to voluntarily label Palm Oil but we see no reason why they should be protected from public scrutiny.
Borneo Orangutan survival have more information on Palm Free Foods on their web page.
You can also grab a the comprehensive Palm Oil Shopping Guide to take with you on your next shopping trip.
New products containing sustainable palm oil:
- Woolworths homebrand donuts
- Macrocorn Chips
- Thomas Chipman Organic & Gluten Free Chips
- Sanctum soap
- Billie Goat Soap
- Coles Green Choice Laundry Products and Detergents
- Hansells- Alfa One Rice Bran
- Coles Revitalising Citrus Fresh Soap, Coles Soothing Lavender Soap, Coles Nourishing Shea Butter, Coles Ginger Kisses, Coles Lamingtons, Coles Choc Top, Coles Sultanas, Coles 2 Minute Instant Noodles
- Against the Grain Cookies
- Doves Farm Products
- Green and Blacks Chocolate
- Virgin Red Palm Oil
If you wish to source sustainable palm oil for your products please contact Daabon: 8338 8778
New Palm Oil Free Products
- Mayver’s Nut and Seed Butters & Tahini
- Vege Chips Company
- Biology Skin http://biologyskin.com/
- Check out this funky new tool to help you buy sustainably