Palm oil has been one of the most preferred oil in the packaged food industry. The 90 percent of the palm plants in the world are being produced in cultivated fields in Indonesia and Malaysia. Palm trees need high amounts of precipitation and temperature while growing. Palm trees can also grow in different parts of Asia, North and South America.
After news about Nutella, there was a lot of news about whether palm oil was cancerous or not. However, besides the effects of palm oil on human health, the damage to the environment while producing this oil is among the issues to be discussed. It is fact that the production of palm oil feeds the regional economy but the damages on the environment threatens the future.
In addition to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), organizations such as the World Health Organization, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization did not recommend to consume palm oil by drawing attention to the danger presented by the carcinogenic substance known as GE in palm oil. On the other hand, environmentalists note the effects of palm oil production on climate change, air pollution and soil erosion.
Environmentalists are criticizing companies for destroying a large part of the rainforests and planting areas in order to increase production of palm oil. As a result, millions of hectares of natural areas are being destroyed in order to produce tree dough and palm oil. In 2015, two million hectares of forests were burned in Indonesia, where the Al Nino air incident was exacerbated.
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) reported that rain forests of 300 football fields are being destroyed in just one hour for palm oil production.
It is also reported that because of the disappearance of millions of hectares of rainforests and planting areas, drought and large amount of greenhouse gas emissions are rising. The disappearance of rain forests also causes many wild animals, such as orangutans, especially tigers and elephants, to immigrate from their natural habitat. The conversion of natural habitats into palm oil seedlings also facilitates the abduction of large apes such as orangutans.