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    Posted December 8, 2011 by
    New York City, New York

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    Palm oil and the Fake Sheikh

    Oh how the palm oil industry could do with the guile, plots and stings of an investigative reporter, the likes of which the world has never seen! Due to his diligent pursuit and willingness to test the boundaries of ethical journalism and push the envelope in pursuing and exposing the corrupt and shadowy white collar criminals who operate in the shadowy world of payola and payoffs, many a crook are now languishing in prison due to the Fake Sheikh. These are crimes that are difficult to uncover due to the surreptitious nature of the offence and offenders.

    What provokes the ire of the palm oil industry is that the crop is probably the most benign of all edible oilseeds on the planet, and yet palm oil is constantly accused of preposterous environmental infringements such as massive deforestation of such a scale as to threaten the existence of biodiversity such as the exotic orangutan.

    What prompts such ferocious attacks against a commodity that is so hyper yielding that a single hectare planted with palm oil can produce 4-5 metric tons of edible oil which is up to ten times that of its nearest competitors? Although the genetic limit has probably been reached by most of its competitors like soy, rapeseed and sunflower, some strains of palm oil has produced yields that exceed 10 metric tons per hectare! Experts have also postulated that at the current rate of research and development, palm oil can probably produce strains that can yield 20 tons per hectare before its genetic limit is reached.

    Could this mega yielding nature of palm oil be the real reason for the intense campaigns organized against the commodity by an entire coterie of “green” and “civil society” groups like Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth (FOE), the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and even zoos like the Melbourne Zoo, the Auckland Zoo and the Philly Zoo supported earnestly by the European Zoos Association.

    At first sight, the list of names of these agents-provocateurs appears to be legitimate, almost illustrious. However, it is the nature of the campaigns and how they have been carefully timed for one organization to run an anti-palm oil campaign only for another to pick up the slack and run another campaign as soon as the impact of one campaign wanes that raises the specter that the campaigns are carefully planned and coordinated and not randomized as the organizers would like the world to believe.

    The fact is that palm oil is planted on only 0.23% of the world’s agricultural lands and as agricultural land forms just 37.7% of the world’s land surface, (Vide: http://data.worldbank.org/topic/agriculture-and-rural-development) palm oil cultivation essentially occupies just 0.006% of the world’s surface. (Agricultural land refers to the share of land area that is arable, under permanent crops, and under permanent pastures. Arable land includes land defined by the FAO as land under temporary crops (double-cropped areas are counted once), temporary meadows for mowing or for pasture, land under market or kitchen gardens, and land temporarily fallow.)

    Yet we have the ludicrous claims of green groups such as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth (FOE), the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) and even zoos like the Melbourne Zoo, the Auckland Zoo and the Philly Zoo that palm oil is causing deforestation on such a scale that the existence of exotic animals like the Orangutan has been threatened.

    The lament of Palmhugger.org is that the payola and payoffs can be easily traced if any conscionable news organization would be keen to follow the paper trail. Oh, if the News of the World still existed and the Fake Sheikh could be assigned to set up a sting for these crooks in environmental-sheep’s clothing and expose them for the criminals that they really are and get the just deserts that they deserve in the penal system from whence they hail!

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