Detrimental Effects of Palm Oil (by Marnie Foster)

[ By on May 15, 2017 ]

Palm oil is a vegetable oil that comes from the African oil palm tree grown throughout Africa, Asia, North and South America, with 85% globally exported and produced in Indonesia and Malaysia. It can be found in 40-50% of household products but can also be found in many other products such as baked goods, confectionary, shampoos, and even toothpaste. Although versatile, the Palm Oil industry is anything but sustainable, exploiting communities and contributing to deforestation and extinction. The unsustainable development of the Palm Oil industry is responsible for air pollution, soil pollution, water pollution, and even soil erosion in ecosystems around the world, leading to the destruction of habitats and an increase in endangered species. In addition, the palm oil industry exploits local communities and overruns national parks which have been made to protect species such as the Sumatran tiger.  As humans, we have a responsibility and duty to take care of the planet as much as we can, so how can we call ourselves ethical if we are using a product that has such detrimental effects on the environment and communities in other countries? On the other hand, is it so easy to find a sustainable alternative to a resource that is already so widely used in our society?

WWF: Palm Oil

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2 Comments on “Detrimental Effects of Palm Oil (by Marnie Foster)”

  1. KNF

    This is currently a hot topic as the EU has currently passed a bill to ban palm oil by 2020. Also, something to consider is the difference between products approved by the FDA vs banned in Europe. You will see that the FDA has a much less stringent policy and therefore US consumers are exposed to many more carcinogens that Europeans are just by using daily personal products.

  2. KNF

    Kelley Nicholson-Flynn

    [ May 16, 2017 at 4:36 pm ]

    You say that we have a responsibility and duty to care for our planet. I agree! But why? What is the moral justification of your claim? Also, examining the extent to which the industry has environmental impacts is certainly open to analysis of the “power and limitations” of science.

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