#Consumer Affairs
Australian Federal Government

Every hour over 300 football fields of pristine, tropical rainforest is destroyed to make room for the establishment and expansion of palm oil plantations. Huge swaths of rainforest are burnt to the ground, leaving thousands of innocent animals, including the endangered Orangutan, helpless. Local tribes who have lived in the forest for thousands of years are forcibly removed, often without compensation.

BUT it doesn't have to be this way. There is an abundance of degraded land and grassland that could easily be converted to palm oil plantations. The only reason companies destroy the rainforest is to selfishly profit from the sale of the timber.

To help support sustainable palm oil, the first step is for palm oil to be labelled on food products. Currently, with no mandatory labelling, consumers do not know if the food products they purchase support this destruction. You have a right to know!

Passed in the sente on the 23rd June, the truth in labeling bill is set to be presented to the House of Representatives as early as July 4th. To show your support for this bill, please sign our petition.

Visit http://www.truthinlabelling.com.au/palmoil.html for more information on the Bill being put forward by Nick Xenophon (Independent Senator for South Australia).

Independent Senator for South Australia, Nick Xenophon, Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Bob Brown and Leader of the Nationals in the Senate, Senator Barnaby Joyce, are calling for greater truth in labelling.

In 2009, the three Senators introduced the Food Standards Amendment (Truth in Labelling Laws) Bill and the Food Standards Amendment (Truth in Labelling Laws – Palm Oil) Bill.

These Bills address the issues of labelling of Country of Origin and Palm Oil, both of which consumers have a right to be informed about.

We, as concerned consumers, wish to request the compulsory labelling of palm oil on food products. The FSANZ Act clearly states that two of its objectives are: ‘The provision of adequate information relating to food to enable consumers to make informed choices’ and ‘The prevention of misleading or deceptive conduct.’ It also states that the food regulation system will ‘be flexible and responsive to the food challenges of the future’.

We submit that the compulsory labelling of Palm Oil is necessary as:

• Labelling Palm Oil as vegetable oil is deliberately misleading consumers who want and deserve the right to make informed decisions about their purchasing practices, especially given the increase in consumer awareness of this issue; and

• The food challenges of the future are intrinsically linked to Global Warming, of which palm oil production, and the associated CO2 emissions, is a major contributor.

In this day and age it is unacceptable that a product such as palm oil is only labelled as vegetable oil. It is clear that THE PUBLIC WANT PALM OIL CLEARLY LABELLED and DESERVE THE RIGHT TO MAKE INFORMED CHOICES, as you yourselves state in Section 10 of the FSANZ Act.

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The Mandatory Labeling of Palm Oil petition to Australian Federal Government was written by The Jane Goodall Institute Australia and is in the category Consumer Affairs at GoPetition.