Science

France to put freeze on palm oil use, imports

France to put freeze on palm oil use, imports

"We're going to ask our members to suspend with immediate effect their blockade of the different sites", Jeremy Decerle, leader of the FNSEA's youth-wing, told reporters.

French farmers have reportedly blocked oil depots and refineries as part of a three-day protest campaign against palm oil imports, Reuters reported. "We are disappointed given farmers' involvement", Christiane Lambert, head of the FNSEA which organised the protests, said after meeting with Agriculture Minister Stephane Travert.

It urged clients not to rush to petrol stations to fill their tanks, which could spark panic buying and shortages.

French junior ecology minister said on June 11, as farmers blocked refineries across the country in protest against use of the vegetable oil in biofuels, that France will commit at European Union level to freeze the use of palm oil. This blockade is illegal. Environmentalists also blame palm oil cultivation for deforestation in southeast Asia.

According to the farmers, these measures show the "government incoherence", which encourages the union to improve its performance while approving global trade agreements that provoke a distortion of competition.




The minister called on angry protesters to sit for negotiations to reach "adequate solutions", insisting that the government would not back down on its decision to allow energy giant Total to import palm oil at a biofuel plant in La Mede, southeastern France.

"This proposal is a betrayal of promises made by the French Government, and others in Europe, to the people of Malaysia", they said in a statement sent by Faces of Palm Oil lobby group.

Last month, authorities gave Total permission to use palm oil as a feedstock.

Total's initiative to import palm oil for its biofuel plant was just "the last straw", the representative added.

Farmers fear that the move could negatively affect the use of locally produced oilseed crops.


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