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Indonesia-Malaysia palm council says UK supermarket misleads consumers

From Reuters - April 16, 2018

JAKARTA (Reuters) - The Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC), a palm oil board led by Indonesia and Malaysia, said British supermarket chain Icelands decision to remove palm oil from its own-brand food products misleads consumers.

Iceland said last week that due to concerns over rainforest destruction it would remove palm oil from all of its own-brand products by end-2018, reducing demand for the vegetable oil by more than 500 tonnes per year.

The claims being made against palm oil are misleading the consumers on the environmental benefits of other vegetable oil, CPOPC Executive Director Mahendra Siregar said in aletter addressed to Richard Walker, managing director of Iceland.

Siregar confirmed the content of the letter, dated April 13, late on Sunday.

CPOPC said demand for vegetable oil continues to grow and that replacing palm oil with other vegetable oils, such as from rapeseed, soybeans and sunflower seeds, would lead to 10 to 20 times greater land use to produce the same amount of oil.

Iceland, which specializes in frozen food and operates around 900 stores, said it has already removed palm oil from half of its own-brand products.

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