KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 — The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) criticised the World Health Organisation (WHO) today for bias after a recent report allowed the media an opportunity for sensationalism.
Responding to a Reuters article that reported the study as comparing palm oil lobbyists to those acting for alcohol and tobacco firms, MPOC chief executive officer Datuk Kalyana Sundram accused the study’s writers and editors of ignoring key facts and cherry picking others.
“The authors overstepped their imagination by accusing palm of manipulative maneuverings among ultra-processed food industry to force choices among children, thereby drawing their analogy with the tobacco and alcohol industries.
“We ask the authors and WHO, what exactly are these ultra-processed foods and for evidence to support these audios (sic) claims. Extrapolated and unsubstantiated conclusions are simply not the accepted norm in a peer reviewed output!” Kalyana said in a sternly-worded statement.
The Reuters report in question was published yesterday and cited the offending study as claiming the palm oil industry to be deploying tactics similar to those of the alcohol and tobacco industries to influence research into the health effects of its products.
Malaysia is currently battling an international campaign against palm oil driven primarily by the European Union, which introduced a ban on the commodity for renewable energy use by 2030.
Among others, Malaysia argues that the reported harms of palm oil consumption to be overstated and that deforestation caused by oil palm cultivation could be controlled and mitigated.
Oil palm is a major cash crop for Malaysia that is the world’s largest exporter of palm oil and second largest cultivator after Indonesia.
Source: The Malay Mail Online