Malaysian palm exports to the US have increased dramatically after Malaysia retaliated against attempts to portray the product as being dangerous to health
MALAYSIAN exports of palm oil to the US are on the rebound. They shot up to 200,000 tonnes in 1992 -- double the 1989 level -- in the wake of a counter-offensive against propaganda that saturated fat from palm oil could induce heart failure.
In 1987, the American Soyabean Association launched a campaign that branded palm oil as dangerous to health. By 1989, Malaysia's palm oil sales to the US declined by 66 per cent to 100,000 tonnes in 1989.
In response, the Malaysian Palm Oil Promotion Council was established in 1990 and a panel of experts was invited to determine whether palm oil was dangerous. The panel noted that a 1987 study showed blood cholesterol dropped 7 per cent to 38 per cent with a switch in diet from a fatty diet to palm oil.
Council chief Murad Hashim, however, voiced a conciliatory note: "There's enough room for everybody and no need to fight one another."
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.