Palm kernel - right story with the wrong execution

Published: Mon 24 Aug 2009 09:20 AM
Palm kernel the right story with the wrong execution
Palm kernel extract, a waste by-product with almost no commercial value, does not cause the destruction of tropical forests. Used as supplementary feed, farmers’ biggest concern was not covered in the Sunday Star Times; that being the biosecurity risk posed by uncertified imports.
“Not one millimetre of forest is being cleared just to feed dairy cows. Yet Greenpeace has thrown mud it knows will stick and I am surprised the Sunday Star Times has allowed itself to be played so comprehensively,” says John Hartnell, Federated Farmers biosecurity spokesperson.
“Palm kernel extract is a waste by-product left over from the processing of palm oil for consumer products. I can’t state that enough, palm kernel is a waste by-product.
“Palm kernel has so little commercial value that if it isn’t recycled into supplementary feed, it is burnt. That doesn’t sound too great for either climate change or the environment.
“If, for one moment, Federated Farmers thought tropical rainforests were being destroyed solely to generate feed, then we’d be in the streets hand-in-hand with Greenpeace.
“Palm plantations aren’t created just to generate a waste by-product, just as newspapers don’t exist solely to support recycling.
“The article is completely back to front but could damage New Zealand’s international reputation, exports and jobs. The real cause of deforestation is consumer demand for palm oil based products and not its by-products.
“95 percent of New Zealand’s cows are fed on grass but that fact was well and truly swamped in the article.
“Yet for a long period of time, Federated Farmers has been questioning the biosecurity risks posed by what seems to be a great amount of uncertified palm kernel entering New Zealand. There’s a huge biosecurity hole posed by the stuff.
“This is what the Sunday Star Times ought to have focused on as it’s inconceivable how such imports could hold a sanitary certificate. Federated Farmers will be following this up urgently with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry next week,” Mr Hartnell concluded.

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