Malaysian Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok Suh Sim alleged that the WHO report on palm oil products was irresponsible and unprofessional and injured the reputation of palm oil and its producers without taking into consideration research studies conducted by other research bodies and experts.
“The WHO researchers who published the report don’t have the complete picture on palm oil (products). They should have discussions with the Malaysian Palm Oil Board’s nutritionists and also with local universities,’ she said.
“I feel that many Westerners — medical experts, environmentalist or politicians — like to criticize palm oil because they have been given one side of the story and many of them have not visited and are unaware of the conditions in Southeast Asia,” she added.
Kok said there have been several research studies done which proved that palm oil was healthy compared to other types of non-palm oil based cooking oils.
“To me, this is a tactic to discredit palm oil’s image and quality and support the European Union in its campaign to halt the entry of palm oil into their markets,” she bewailed.
Kok beckoned all Malaysian scientists and researchers to became visible and protect the oil palm industry using their testimonials and research findings. “We have many people who have conducted research and they should collaborate with the Ministry to raise awareness on the benefits of palm oil,” she said.
The Ministry is set to invite and is encouraging the drafters of the misleading and subjective report on palm oil-based products published by the World Health Organization (WHO) to travel to Malaysia for a dialogue.
Malaysian Palm Oil Industry
Malaysia is one of the world’s biggest palm oil exporters and currently accounts for 39 % of world palm oil production and 44% of world exports. Being one of the biggest producers and exporters of palm oil and palm oil products, Malaysia has an important role to play in fulfilling the growing global need for oils and fats sustainably.
According to Oil World executive director Thomas Mielke, Malaysia’s palm oil output plummeted to 19.8 million tons in 2018 as compared to 19.92 million tons recorded in 2017 due to lower yields, said
However, Malaysian palm oil production is expected to increase to 20.4 million tons this year due to high inventory numbers and the fact that the country was not badly hit by El Nino season in 2018,” he said.