Kraft Foods, Kellogg's and other U.S. food producers come under attack as demand for vegetable oil made from palm trees soars.
What do Oreo cookies made by Nabisco (KFT, Fortune 500), Cheez-It crackers from Kellogg's (K, Fortune 500) or General Mills' (GIS, Fortune 500) Fiber One Chewy Bars have to do with global warming and the destruction of tropical rainforests? A lot, say environmental activists.
SAN FRANCISCO – More than 2,000 concerned citizens across the country went to supermarkets in San Francisco, Minneapolis, New York and dozens of other cities today to apply stickers reading, “Warning! Product May Contain Rainforest Destruction,” on any items found to contain palm oil. The day of action was organized by Rainforest Action Network (RAN), which also sent letters to more than 300 companies urging them to stop using palm oil in commercial products until more sustainable palm oil sources are made available in the market.
Palm oil is in everything from fuel to cosmetics. Is it a solution or a problem?
It’s lurking, unlabeled, in hundreds of household products from lip gloss to baby formula to potato chips. While it doesn’t sound (and need not be) nefarious, activist groups worldwide argue that the production of palm oil is currently harming rain forests in Southeast Asia, orangutans, and the environment.
But the American Palm Oil Council calls it “nature’s gift to the world.”
Minneapolis ¬– Local food giant General Mills (GIS) came under fire today for its use of unsustainable palm oil, a food commodity strongly linked to rainforest destruction in Southeast Asia, as 42 activists with Rainforest Action Network, Walker Church and other concerned community organizations unfurled a 30 x 70 ft. banner reading “Warning: General Mills Destroys Rainforests” outside of the company’s Minneapolis headquarters building.
SAN FRANCISCO – Whole Foods Market has joined Rainforest Action Network (RAN) in expressing concern for the unsustainable practices of the global palm oil industry and calling for change in the U.S. Market. The largest organic retailer in the U.S. has voiced its commitment to sourcing palm oil that does not contribute to destroying the world’s remaining tropical rainforests, displace communities or contribute to global climate change.