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Action Alert - Orangutan      

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ACTION ALERT - 6 november 2008


You don't have to be human to be homeless


OrangutanEndangered orangutans find themselves in this situation every day in Indonesia when their rainforest habitat is burnt to clear land for palm oil plantations. Not only does burning forests for palm oil deprive orangutans of habitat and risk their extinction, it is happening on such a massive scale that it makes Indonesia the world's third largest greenhouse gas emitter.

Sadly, tax payers and consumers in Australia are contributing to the problem thanks to two misguided Government policies.

The Australian Government uses our tax dollars to subsidise the importation of palm oil from Indonesia to Australia under the Cleaner Fuels Grant Scheme on the mistaken belief it is a greenhouse friendly fuel. The mistake began under the Howard Government and, despite criticising it when in opposition, the Rudd Government has failed to remove the subsidy.

Secondly, the Government authority, Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FZANZ), has rejected calls to require mandatory labelling of palm oil content in food ingredient lists. Palm oil is a ubiquitous ingredient in many processed foods, cosmetics and toiletries, often going under names such as sodium laureth sulphate or elaeis guineensis. This makes it difficult for Australian consumers to avoid buying products containing palm oil at the supermarket. FSANZ says environmental issues are not part of their mandate.

What you can do:

Write to Federal Environment Minister, Peter Garrett, and Federal Climate Change Minister, Senator Penny Wong, ask that they both ensure the Government ends the palm oil import subsidy under the Cleaner Fuels Grant Scheme and changes necessary laws to allow mandatory labelling of palm oil (common name) as a food ingredient to give Australian consumers an informed choice.

Write to:

The Hon Tony Burke, MP
Minister for Environment
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600


The Hon Greg Combet, AM MP
Minister for Climate Change
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Read more about HSI activities to save orangutans

Image by Chris Searle

Web: AndreasLustig.com