EU should ban butter, not palm oil, says Mah

Mah insisted that as far as environmental impact was concerned, butter was far more damaging. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Mah insisted that as far as environmental impact was concerned, butter was far more damaging. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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TELUK INTAN, Jan 28 — The European Union (EU) should ban butter and not palm oil if it wants to use the environment factor as the basis for banning palm oil-based biofuels by 2020.             

Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong said emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the production of butter was 10 times higher compared with palm oil.

“One tonne of butter production emits 23.8 tonnes of CO2, but oil palm cultivation to produce one tonne of palm oil emits only 2.3 tonnes of CO2. So 10 times. Using their logic, we should ban butter from EU, and EU should also ban butter,” he said during his speech at the food voucher presentation to students under the Additional Food Plan here today.

He was commenting on the EU Parliament’s resolution on January 17 through the Renewable Energy Directive which requires that only sustainably produced palm oil can enter the EU market after 2020.

Elaborating further, Mah who is also Teluk Intan Member of Parliament said Malaysia would hold a palm negotiation mission to Europe soon following the EU proposal.

The mission will be led by Mah himself and has received the approval from the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. It is scheduled to be held during the Chinese New Year celebration.

He explained that the mission would involve negotiations in at least five countries to meet the EU ministers as well as the commissioners with the hope that they would be more rational.

“Based on the EU Parliament legal system, before a resolution becomes law, it must get the approval from the Council of the EU and European Commission through a tripartite meeting among them.

“In this matter, I have been informed that the meeting is expected to be held next month,” he said.

Mah said besides taking on the EU Parliament discrimination, Malaysia would also strive to expand its palm oil market.

On today’s programme, Mah said it started last year, aimed at alleviating the burden of the underprivileged families with each family receiving food vouchers worth RM50 a month for two months. — Bernama

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